Fraternity raises awareness, money for Push America

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    Music blasted as students gathered beside Frog Fountain to watch sorority teams compete in a playground-style wheelchair basketball tournament.Sorority members wore matching shirts and cheered on their teammates, who competed against each other in several three-on-three half-court games.

    Push Week – Pi Kappa Phi fraternity’s three-day effort to promote Push America, a philanthropy benefitting disabled children – concluded Wednesday with the tournament.

    Event co-chairman Neal Jackson said the drive is designed to raise awareness, encourage fundraising and organize volunteers at TCU.

    The event also featured an “empathy race.” Participants were asked to complete tasks with their eyes closed to better understand what it is like to live with blindness.

    “We’re trying to introduce students at TCU to what it might be like to live with a disability,” Pi Kapp President Matt Foust said. “We’re trying to raise funds and awareness for that.”

    Push Week opened Monday with a “Miss Push America” contest, in which contestants answered questions about Push America. Sororities also designed banners containing information about Push America.

    “Hundreds of people learned about Push America, and that’s what this week is all about,” said Jackson, a junior neuroscience major.

    Pi Kapp raised money in the Brown-Lupton Student Center as well, Jackson said.

    The fraternity also used Push Week to organize volunteers at Kinderfrogs School, which works with disabled children. Marilyn Tolbert, director of Kinderfrogs, said more than 200 Greek students volunteered during the event. Tolbert said the number was the largest in Push Week history.

    “Pi Kappa Phi has been a great help to us every year,” Tolbert said.

    Jackson said he hopes this will encourage more to volunteer.

    “People who go and like what they see can continue to go back,” Jackson said.

    Foust said Pi Kapp works with Push America all year. Five TCU Pi Kapps participated last summer in Journey of Hope, a 3,900-mile bike ride that raises money and awareness for disabled children, Foust said.

    Push America was founded by Pi Kappa Phi’s national chapter and is the sole focus of its charity work,

    Associate Dean of Campus Life James Parker was happy with the response.

    “Push Week helps raise awareness about individuals with disabilities,” Parker said. “It is an exciting week that will contribute money and time to a worthy cause.