When it comes to doing more for those in need, Delta Zeta is ready to answer the call. At its annual philanthropy event, Hike for Hearing, the women raised just under $2,000 for the Starkey Hearing Foundation, drawing 140 participants to Thousand Hills State Park on Oct. 8.
To raise money for the Foundation, which aids children in underdeveloped countries who have problems with hearing, Delta Zeta offered a few different ways to donate to the cause. Donors paid up to $18 to participate in the hike, buy a commemorative t-shirt and eat a barbecue meal after the event. Or they could buy just a t-shirt for $14 or take part in the barbecue.
Konner Kness, philanthropy chair for Delta Zeta, says she was pleased with the turnout this year for the annual event.
“I think it did pretty good. There are a lot more people here than I was expecting, which is always a good thing,” says Kness. “Obviously people will pay and not show up, but the donations are great anyway since they go to a great cause.”
Kness says she was happy Delta Zeta can give back to the Starkey Foundation, even though many of the people who participated in October’s event aren’t affiliated with the sorority. That makes the experience — and the money raised — well worth it.
“We are very fortunate to have what we have and be at Truman,” says Kness. “So, to give back to people who might not have as much as we do is important. If you are able, of course.”
Truman Community Shows Their Support
The Delta Zetas were not alone in their mission to raise money for the foundation, as many in the Truman community came out in support of the cause, including many of the fraternities to show support.
Philip Wirth, Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter president, says his fraternity helps out other organizations’ philanthropies as a way to support Greek life and the Truman community as a whole.
“They [Delta Zeta] put together the Big Man on Campus pageant in the spring and then Hike for Hearing in the fall, so we always try to come out as a chapter and support them,” says Wirth.
Wirth says it’s important that other Greek organizations rally together to help fight the stereotype and the negative reputation that Greek Life often earns. The goal is to make public how Greek organizations around the country often provide one of the bigger sources for volunteer work nationally and in the surrounding communities.
The Kirksville Community Lends A Hand
It wasn’t just the Truman community that brought out the support for the cause, as members of the Kirksville community also came to show their support.
Chuck Long, the property manager for Galt Speak Student Homes, a company that houses many students in the Kirksville area, has aided the Delta Zetas for years. He says a lot of fraternity and sorority members live in his company’s houses around Kirksville.
“We always try to help any sorority or fraternity around campus that needs it,” says Long. “If they need help with cooking or other donations or anything like that, we try to help them out.”
Long explains how much he enjoys getting to know the new people in the sororities and fraternities, along with helping the Truman community with whatever they need. That often includes providing equipment needed to cook for such large groups of people.
Looking Ahead To Big Man On Campus
The giving season doesn’t end with October’s event, as Delta Zeta looks forward to its big spring philanthropy event, Big Man on Campus (BMOC), which is a talent show that involves one man from every fraternity on campus. Throughout the event, contestants showcase their talents ranging from juggling to signing to win over the judges.
Konner Kness says he’s looking forward to the event since it generally raises more money than the other events Delta Zeta organizes.
“It usually raises more money because every fraternity member likes to go see their brother get up on stage and do a talent, so the whole fraternity will by tickets for the event,” says Kness.
Kness says she enjoys seeing all of Truman’s organizations come together to support causes that every organization backs. She too believes such events help the community really understand the true meaning of being Greek, and how much good Greek life can do.
All proceeds from BMOC also go to Delta Zeta’s philanthropy, the Starkey Foundation. Last year the event raised just over $3,000—a figures the women say they hope to repeat or surpass this coming spring. BMOC will take place in the first weekend of March this coming 2018 spring semester in Baldwin Auditorium.
“Last year, Big Man On Campus was a lot of fun,” Kness says. “There was a ton of people and everybody had a great time. I think that this year is going to be even better too because of all the time and effort that everyone is putting into it.”