Baseball’s Lou Gehrig would be proud of his brothers from the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity if he were here today. The Fraternity, of which Gehrig was a member during his days at Columbia University in the early 1920s, will be working with The ALS Association for a Service Learning Trip in May 2014. For this trip, Phi Delta Theta members will interact with people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and others from the ALS community in Missouri in an effort to understand the disease’s impact on individuals and their families.
For seven days, Fraternity members from across the U.S. and Canada will complete service projects in the homes of people and their families living with the disease in St. Louis and Kansas City. These projects could encompass simple duties like lawn cleanup or fence repairs or more complex tasks such as bathroom modifications or ramp building. Members will also engage in conversations with local ALS Association board members at The Association’s Keith Worthington and St. Louis Regional Chapters.
“For years, our membership has been passionately raising money for ALS research. This new program will provide an opportunity for undergraduate men to interact with those affected by ALS and create a greater sense of awareness of the disease,” said Luke Benfield, Director of Education for Phi Delta Theta.
"The St. Louis Regional Chapter is excited to partner with Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and host them in St. Louis,” said Maureen Hill, Executive Director for the St. Louis Regional Chapter. “This will certainly foster a greater connection between our organizations, and those participating will undoubtedly understand and embrace our mission as they have opportunities to engage with those directly affected by ALS.”
In addition to spearheading this service project, the Fraternity recently awarded two grants to ALS researchers totaling $135,000. Grant funds came from the Fraternity’s Iron Phi program, a program in which Phi Delta Theta members raise funds for both The Association and the Phi Delta Theta Foundation as they train to achieve athletic goals.
“The research funds provided to The ALS Association through the Iron Phi program are crucial to our mission and vision of creating a world without ALS,” said ALS Association President & CEO Jane H. Gilbert. We appreciate the commitment of the Fraternity to serve the ALS community and look forward to celebrating together as research breakthroughs bring us closer to a cause and cure.”
“There’s nothing more meaningful to Phi Delta Theta’s Iron Phi program than making grants to individuals who are researching this dreaded disease. We are committed to supporting those who are making strides in finding a cure for ALS, and I’m very proud of those Phis who have committed themselves to making these grants possible,” said Steve Good, Phi Delta Theta’s Director of Communications and Iron Phi.
Phi Delta Theta has had a longstanding partnership with the ALS community and has supported The ALS Association for more than a decade. Through the support of Phi Delta Theta’s undergraduate and alumni members, the Fraternity has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours to support ALS research and care services programs.
Registration for the Service Learning Trip will open in early November of 2013. Questions about the program and registration can be directed to Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters at (513) 523-6345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.