Phi Delta Theta has embraced the ALS Association as its national philanthropic organization initiative. This decision was made by the General Council in 2002. ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spine. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig is one of Phi Delta Theta’s “famous Phi’s” and this was part of the reason for selecting the ALS Association as the national philanthropy for the fraternity.
The Phi Delta Theta KY Eta chapter at Western Kentucky University has been dedicated to do our part in helping raise awareness about this disease and also funds to help in research efforts. During 2014, the ALS Association embarked on a marketing campaign to increase awareness for this disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge was born and millions of people throughout the world undertook the challenge to help those struggling with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Our chapter challenged members of the community and students and faculty at WKU, most notably WKU President Gary Ransdell, to take part in the challenge.
Our chapter has also sought to raise awareness for ALS through the Iron Phi challenge. Phi Delta Theta encourages both undergraduates and alumni to raise $1,000 and complete an athletic event to achieve the title of Iron Phi. Our chapter saw our first Iron Phi’s in the fall of 2015 and have a total of seven members to be named a part of this impressive group.
The chapter also sponsors a philanthropy week in both the fall and spring semesters that raises money for the ALS Association through various events. We have done a dunk tank, the “Roast of Charley Pride”, and many other events that have allowed us to raise several thousand dollars for the Association.
The men of the KY Eta chapter are also dedicated to community service. The chapter recently completed over one-thousand hours during the 2016 spring semester. Our chapter has worked events for Special Olympics on a regular basis, volunteered at local events, and completed a multitude of other community service projects to show our commitment to the city of Bowling Green and surrounding communities and organizations.