The Zeta Chi chapter of Kappa Alpha Order fraternity launched a fundraiser in February aimed at raising $20,000 to buy a track chair for a local Vietnam War veteran.
The fundraiser will help support the Independence Fund through KA’s “Operation KARE,” standing for knowledge, awareness, results and empowerment, the fraternity’s philanthropy mission for this year. Operation KAre’s 2019 mission is to support the Independence Fund and U.S. veterans.
This year’s veteran is a former U.S. Marine who had to have both of their legs amputated and suffered shrapnel wounds when he was wounded by a mine in Vietnam. The addition of a track chair, an all-terrain vehicle, will allow for this veteran to engage in outdoor activities the way he could before his service.
The fraternity plans to reach their fundraising goal by May 4, in order to gift this year’s veteran the donation during a presentation ceremony at KSU.
“So far, we have raised $12,000 by [having] events on the Green [and] receiving donations from businesses,” Kappa Alpha President Miles McDevitt said. “We [also] have a fishing tournament planned on Lake Allatoona on May 4.”
Each brother within the fraternity was tasked with meeting a personal fundraising goal of $150 each. All 60 brothers have met this goal and “are eager to raise the remaining $8,000,” McDevitt said.
McDevitt said the initiative hits home to many KA members, as 10 brothers have family members who are serving or have served in the military. The fraternity had two brothers leave the chapter to serve overseas as well.
“We feel it is important to come together and do something bigger than ourselves to help someone who has given our country the ultimate sacrifice,” McDevitt said. “As a KA, we value service and reverence to all members in our society and we are blessed to be paired this year with the Independence Fund.”
Operation KAre was first created in 2016 by the Zeta Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order at High Point University.
The Zeta Phi chapter was motivated by the service and sacrifice of the members of the armed forces as well as the realization that the service members were not much older than the brothers were at that time, according to the fundraiser website.
“Many Kappa Alpha Order chapters across the nation have also decided to take on this mission this year as we feel like it is an opportunity to get the community involved to properly recognize a veteran who has given a sacrifice for our country,” McDevitt said.
To support the fundraiser, individuals can go to Kappa Alpha’s donation page or contact a KA brother.