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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Leverenz

WWU fraternity raises money for Scleroderma Foundation

The men of Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) at William Woods University recently took pies in their faces for a good cause—one that personally affected one of their members nearly five years ago.

The fraternity hosted a Pie-a-Pike fundraiser for the Scleroderma Foundation March 16, raising $300. The Pikes also raised $500 during their philanthropy week, Pikes Peak, March 17-19.

Participants in Pie-a-Pike were allowed to throw a “pie” in the face of a Pike of their choice for $5. The pies were actually paper plates filled with whipped cream. Donations also were accepted and a free barbecue was provided for those in attendance.

“The Scleroderma Foundation is close to Pike because we lost a brother’s sister to the disease in her first year at The Woods,” senior Cruz Buchanan of Columbia, Missouri, said.

The recipient of more than one pie to the face, Buchanan explained his participation: “It is very easy to get motivated for a cause that has affected someone close in your life. Pie-a-Pike was a new idea we had this year for raising extra money on top of our philanthropy and golf tournament for the foundation.”

Scleroderma is an ongoing, progressive, autoimmune disease that attacks the connective tissues of the body. Pi Kappa Alpha made the Scleroderma Foundation their philanthropy after a member of the chapter, Ryan Ellis, lost his sister, Lyndsey, to the disease Aug. 29, 2010.

Lyndsey Ellis was a freshman and member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority at the time of her death. Though she was only able to attend William Woods for a week, her impact has been lasting.

“I am proud of my boys for doing this fundraiser and helping my sister’s memory live on,” said Ellis, who earned a B.S. in 2012 and an MBA in 2014. “It is so great that they are constantly thinking of more fundraisers.”

Adam Smith, a senior from Warrenton, Missouri, said, “We decided to start this fundraiser because we wanted to create a chance for all William Woods students to gather and help raise money for Scleroderma in an enjoyable way.”

Smith, the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter president, was pleased with the results.

“The turnout was way more than we could have asked for and so were the donations. Every sorority on campus came and supported us, along with a sorority from Westminster.”

“Scleroderma is something the men of Pi Kappa Alpha hold near and dear to our hearts,” Cameron Baker, a junior from New Bloomfield, Missouri, said. “Therefore, we jump at any opportunity we have to not only raise awareness, but also raise money to help this cause.”

Bryan Mach, a sophomore from Marshall, Missouri, said, “The best part of the event was the camaraderie and the fact that we got to meet new people and have a good time in raising money for a good cause. It is important to me because I was able to get out of my day-to-day routine and make a difference in someone else’s life. That’s what this fundraiser is all about.”

“I think it is amazing that both Pike and Alpha Chi Omega are able to keep Lyndsey’s memory on campus,” Ellis said. “It means a lot to keep her name going, especially now that many students on campus don’t know who she was, but they can know the cause.”

Brandy Reagan, a junior from Montgomery City, Missouri, and past president of Alpha Chi Omega, said, “I never personally met Lyndsey Ellis, but I can still feel her presence and impact on this campus. We put her name on our banner this year and it sparked a conversation with those who saw it. Many remember the story, even years later. That’s when you know there is full philanthropic impact.”

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