A teeter totter was consistently moving on the Person Lawn for 104 hours for Phi Delta Theta’s 19th annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. The men of this fraternity plan year round for this five day event that is anticipated by many on campus.
The Phi Delta Theta Fraternity began the Teeter Totter event at SSU in 1999 to raise money for ALS research, formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in honor of Lou Gehrig who was an accomplished Phi Delta Theta member at Columbia University. Their vision shifted when one of their own brother’s, Woody Bolin, passed in August 2006 from Cystic Fibrosis. In honor of Bolin, they vowed that they would continue this once a year event to remember him and his legacy.
President of Phi Delta Theta, Senior Vince Emme, has been fortunate enough to take part in four years of fundraising. He shared that this has been one of the most impactful moments of his college experience.
“It is times like this that makes me very proud to represent our organization, Teeter Totter is what we are all about and look forward to it every year. It is always so rewarding seeing everyone come together and contribute to a great cause all while having a good time.” Emme expressed.
The Teeter Totter event’s main regulation is that the teeter will have two people on it at all times and consistently be moving. Anyone at anytime can ride the teeter totter. Although the teeter is the main event, the men of this fraternity fill the five day event with other opportunities to get the entire campus involved in their philanthropy.
T-shirts designed for the event were offered along with wristbands and are still on sale. Following their opening ceremonies on last Monday, they brought inflatable jousting and bounce houses for those passing to enjoy. On their second day, they were able to fundraise by having multiple volunteers from a variety of clubs and organizations on campus. A cornhole tournament followed in the evening where the men of Phi Delta Theta were able to award the winners with a $25 gift card to local beer company, Brewster’s Beer Garden. Wednesday evening was a night of competition, filled with sauce, bones, and a lot of napkins. The wing eating contest was filled with eager faces that were hungry for a win. Thursday, people rushed to pay the price to Pie a Phi, and returned in the evening for a movie night. Friday brought an end to the event with their closing ceremonies and tribute.
“I get all tears just thinking about it because these boys are just so committed to something that not a lot of people have. They call Cystic Fibrosis an orphan disease, not many people have it like cancer or other diseases. These funds that they’re doing, these individual donations are making things happen.” Diane Keagan shared warmingly.
Wednesday evening, the event was visited by a family with a very important visitor, Waylon Jones. Waylon is a child who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth. He and his family came to offer their praises to the fraternity as well as sign he had made that said, ‘Thank you Phi Delta Theta for helping to give me more tomorrows’. Waylon’s grandmother, Diane Keagon, shared that they learned about this event by meeting Phi Delta Theta members at the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis in Santa Rosa. Keagon expressed her gratitude for the awareness that is being brought from the Teeter Totter Event.
Senior Alec Pesavento serves as the Philanthropy Chair for this brotherhood and has taken on the challenge of planning Teeter Totter for the past 3 years. This event has allowed him to not only give back to his community, but strengthen his own leadership skills as well. He describes the past 3 years as a learning experience, full of trials and errors that allowed them to make it better and better each year.
“We have been moving onward and upward for this event, coming up on our 20 year anniversary of Teeter Totter. Before I came to college, I didn’t even know what Cystic Fibrosis was and now that I’ve been able to participate in Teeter Totter and create a relationship actively with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it holds a special place in my heart and will until the day I die. I plan on coming to Phi Delta Theta’s Teeter Totter event for as long as I possibly can.” Pesavento expressed.