On Sept. 30, 2019, Pi Kappa Phi hosted a philanthropic event to raise money for the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic (WYGC) and to spread awareness for suicide prevention at the dusk of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (NSPAM).
Members of the Iota Eta chapter of Pi Kappa Phi hosted this fundraiser in front of the student union. They brought out a dunk tank with some baseballs, and sold baked goods to accumulate their funds.
The dunk tank ran at one dollar per throw to try and knock a brother into the tank full of water, with a five-dollar charge for a guaranteed dunk.
The baked goods also ran at one dollar each for most items including brownies, cookies, chocolate bars, and even some cookies with Oreo inside. Colin Haines, the Philanthropy Chair for Pi Kappa Phi did the baking himself, along with coordination the whole event.
When talking to Haines about the event he did note that the idea was sparked by chapter president Preston Vargecko and his interest to do an event themed within National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month because he felt that there wasn’t enough being done for it already.
A common hashtag for NSPAM is #BeThe1To. With the dunk tank, the Iota Eta chapter extended this tag to include “step up to the plate”, or #BeThe1ToStepUpToThePlate.
The WYGC website states that “the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic is a non-profit mental health organization that has provided mental health treatment to people in need for more than 50 years. We offer high-quality, client-centered, and transformative mental health services, crisis intervention, and addiction treatment to residents of Yavapai County.”
Haines was able to meet with representatives at WYGC who supplied him with pamphlets, magnets, and notecards about the organization. Pi Kappa Phi handed these out at the event to help spread awareness and to make it clear what they were doing.
When asked if the event was a success, Haines confirmed whole-heartedly. Also noting that the $270.00 raised was “really good” and “a personal record” for just a one-day event. When he dropped off the check to WYGC, they had a very similar reaction and couldn’t be more pleased with the result.
The National Pi Kappa Phi Organization also owns and operates its very own philanthropic charity called the Ability Experience. The Ability Experience centers itself around improving the lives of people who have disabilities. The Ability Experience strives to “Champion the Abilities of All”.According to The Ability Experience website, “together we’re helping to change the way society views people with disabilities and fraternities. Because labels should not define us. We prefer to put our values into action, bringing our mission for a more inclusive community to life every single day”.
The Iota Eta chapter of Pi Kappa Phi plans to do an event under the title “Pi Kappa Phi Hop” to raise more money for charities and non-profits this term. Haines also noted that they will have a whole week full of events in the spring for their “Ability Week”.