The Epsilon Tau Chapter at Northern Arizona University recently completed its month-long fundraiser for Special Olympics Arizona. The chapter planned events like percentage nights, coin wars, trivia night, and a flag football game to fundraise for their initial goal of $20,000. Their events saw a growing attendance and participation from 50 to 300 attendees for each event, and as such, the chapter saw a real increase in donations.
“Our national philanthropy is Muscular Dystrophy Association but the brothers of Epsilon Tau here at NAU felt that Special Olympics touched us closer to home,” Number I Mac Shattuck (Epsilon Tau–Northern Arizona ’19) said. “We all felt a deeper connection to the Special Olympics Foundation, and decided to donate to them this year.”
Special Olympics athletes and staff joined the chapter for the final donation total announcement and check presentation of $32,500 for Special Olympics Arizona on Saturday, April 2. The event also featured a flag football game with Special Olympics athletes and unified partners and a football clinic for kids under the age of 10.
“My brothers and I at Kappa Alpha Order NAU have always had a special place in our hearts for Special Olympics. Many of us have family members and relatives who participate in Special Olympics so we found it most fitting that we as a chapter support a cause we all have personal connections with, “said Kappa Alpha member Dylan Vitale. “The idea of hosting this Special Olympics football game gave our brothers the chance to raise money for this foundation, get up close and personal with the athletes and make them feel as special as possible. It also gave us a chance to show the world a group of 70 men who set a goal of raising $15,000 could end up raising more than $32,500 for Special Olympics Arizona. We love to break that stigma of what fraternities are, and we take great pride in making an impact in our community.”
In 1975, the first Special Olympics of Arizona competition was held. It consisted of a single-day track and field event with 100 athletes and 20 volunteers. The Special Olympics of Arizona has grown since its inaugural games and now hosts more than 21,460 athletes every year.