Rock-A-Thon 2013 shatters national Greek philanthropy record
In an inspiring display of philanthropic spirit, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at the University of Missouri raised over $123,000 for the American Cancer Society during the 2013 installment of its biennial fundraiser, Rock-A-Thon (RockAThonAEPi.com). The Mu Deuteron chapter surpassed its own record for the largest single-chapter philanthropy event in the nation, which was set at $80,000 in 2011.
Rock-A-Thon, the focal point of the AEPi calendar since its inception in 1969, revolves around one brother elected as the “Rocker,” who sits in a rocking chair on stage at 9th and Broadway in Downtown Columbia for 63 straight hours. Brendan Lyss, whose brother and father are both cancer survivors, assumed this position in 2013, while the rest of the brotherhood solicited donations throughout the state of Missouri. Brothers “canned” at locations in the college town of Columbia, other locations in Mid-Missouri, as well as the metropolises of St. Louis and Kansas City.
While on the front lines donations poured into the cans, social media was blowing up. People from around campus, town and the state praised the Rock-A-Thon effort on both Twitter and Facebook. The event’s Facebook account reached more than 200,000 people over the course of the week. The highlights of the social media buzz can be found on our Storify at http://tinyurl.com/RockAThonSocial.
Rock-A-Thon concluded with the 135-man brotherhood, along with members of the Columbia community, gathering at the downtown stage to watch Brendan stand up from his rocking chair and to hear the announcement of the grand total. With donations pouring in until the very last moment both on the streets of Columbia and online, the counting process kept spectators waiting, as graduating seniors reflected on their final Rock-A-Thon.
When Rock-A-Thon chairman Andrew Weil finally announced the six-figure total, there was pandemonium on Broadway. Brothers, family, friends and alumni embraced one another. Seniors and freshmen alike shed tears of pride. For three days, everyone had been part of something bigger than himself.
Other highlights of Rock-A-Thon week included the inaugural Rock-A-Thon Golf Classic in St. Louis and a chair decorating competition between six Missouri sororities.
There’s no way to do Rock-A-Thon justice in a page, so please feel free to contact Public Relations Chairman Alex Silverman at 516-509-5254 or by e-mail at AMSF44@mail.missouri.edu for more information.
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