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Fraternity raises awareness of ALS

Kellie Galentine
Assistant LV Life Editor

A set of American flag painted Greek letters, a water pong table, a volleyball net and a teeter-totter turned the South Quad from April 24 to April 25 into what a passerby may think was a fratty hangout.

In reality the brothers of Phi Delta Theta came together for a full 24 hours, raising awareness for their philanthropic cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“ALS is a disorder where you gradually lose control of your body and that is personally very scary for me because I am such an active person,” Garrett Moberg, executive vice president of the fraternity, said.

“I can only imagine how hard that is for people to experience this disease, but that is why I want to help those who are affected.”

The 24-hour event, which took place from 2 p.m. to 2 p.m., had brothers of the fraternity taking turns in 30-minute shifts riding a teeter-totter that never stopped moving.

“It is not as big of a disease as cancer, so you need to put the word out about it,” said David Asbra, sophomore political science major and member of the fraternity. “People don’t know what amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is.”

The brothers of the fraternity wore red shirts with the ALS logo on the front, and the back had the name Gehrig and the number four like the famous player’s baseball jersey. Lou Gehrig, late New York Yankee, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Gehrig was also a member of Phi Delta Theta while attending Columbia University.

“It all started with Lou Gehrig. He is the person whose name goes along with ALS and because he is a Phi Delt we are rallying support,” Asbra said. “It is a fraternity so it is all about brotherhood, so we have this foundation to support him.”

Aside from the teeter-tottering to raise awareness there was a full lineup of activities for the night. At midnight the brothers sold frozen yogurt, which was donated by 21 choices to raise money.

The fraternity raised $323 during the event.

A 3 a.m. football game, the ALS bowl, also took place between brothers from different residence halls battling for the ALS plaque.

“I was actually on my way home when I saw this event going on and I decided to hang out because I like to support other people’s causes,” Melissa Procopio, junior business administration major, said.

The brothers joked with one another as they rode the teeter-totter when one person would stop and leave the other in the air.

“I’ve actually never been on a teeter-totter until I started participating in this event,” Steven Santana, junior radio broadcasting major and president of the fraternity, said. “It’s pretty funny on the teeter-totter, like you’re nine years old again.”

Phi Delta Theta also sponsors an ALS walk in the fall to raise money for the disease.

Kellie Galentine can be reached at kellie.galentine@laverne.edu.

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