The Delta Xi Chapter at McNeese State University presented veteran Todd Croft with an all-terrain track chair during a recent home football game. Croft, a 28-year veteran in the U.S. Marine Corps, developed Multiple Sclerosis while serving all over the world, including Afghanistan, losing the mobility in his legs.
“With the help of the alumni chapter and the very hard work of the active chapter, we fundraised, wedid a bunch of events where we were able to raise the $20,000,” said philanthropy chairman David L. Guillory (Delta Xi–McNeese State ’19).
The new specially outfitted track chair will help Croft go places where regular scooters could not.
“I tried my best to help them understand that what they just did, especially with my MS progression, that they made it easier for me to continue with this journey of losing my legs,” Croft said. “I know I can go places now that I couldn’t before.”
“They gave their lives for us so we could do the bare minimum for them,” said Number I Zachary J. Hebert (Delta Xi–McNeese State ’19). “So they could have a great life with their families so they could live more comfortably.”
“When we saw our goal being in arm’s reach, it was very rewarding to us,” Guillory. “We saw that we could really get there. We just pushed so hard. We were very thankful and privileged to do this for somebody else. It was very rewarding.”
In 2016, the Zeta Phi Chapter partnered with The Independence Fund and began a student-led initiative aimed at raising money to provide Track Chairs for wounded veterans, and has given away eight track chairs to date. Additionally, the initiative spread to other chapters with members of the chapter sharing best practices and providing support. Across the Order, nearly $1 million has been raised and donated to provide track chairs and support The Independence Fund’s programs that help veterans overcome physical and psychological wounds of war.