Pi Kappa Phi partnered with Best Buddies to host its second annual War of the Roses to raise money for The Ability Experience, the fraternity's philanthropy group.
While Ball State sororities competed to win the War of the Roses, Pi Kappa Phi brothers consistently biked a 48-hour bike-a-thon to raise money and awareness.
“I think [this event] spreads the message of inclusion, and it shows the kind of environment that the Pi Kapps like to be in,” said Joe Dicola, a junior marketing major and Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy chair. “We want to include everyone. Everyone is encouraged to come, donate and have a good time. It’s all for a good cause.”
War of the Roses started last year, after Pi Kappa Phi adapted their fundraiser Tour de Pi Kapp to match the fundraiser of the 180 other chapters across the country.
“We still do the 48-hour cycling event, but with the War of the Roses, we try to make it more interactive with the sorority competitions and other events in between,” said Kohler Mohr, a junior marketing major and Pi Kappa Phi president.
During the three-day event, Pi Kappa Phi and other sororities host corn hole, two movie nights, tug of war, sack races, tricycle races and pushups for Pi Kappa Phi brothers, but the biggest events are the bike-a-thon and the crowning of the winning sorority at the end.
“It’s definitely a long hour [biking], but it’s a fun hour, especially towards the end because you feel accomplished that you were able to do it,” Mohr said. “The seats aren’t the most comfortable, but it’s doable.”
Another brother, junior marketing major Sean Meenagh, said that this was his third year biking for the 48-hour bike-a-thon, but he was feeling winded after 10 minutes.
“Biking in one spot is a very different experience than biking on the go,” Meenagh said. “But I’m always looking for positives. I’m getting a workout, spending time with my brothers and I’m having a good time raising money for The Ability Experience.”
Even though the biking isn’t always fun, Dicola said that educating others, being accessible for them and raising money is.
“I love having people come up to me saying ‘oh, tell me about The Ability Experience.’ What’s it about? Who’s it helping?” Dicola said. “Because that’s what Pi Kapps are about. It truly is an incredible event.”
Last year, the Pi Kappa Phi’s were able to raise $2,700, and this year, Dicola said he hopes to raise $3,000.
During the first four hours, Dicola said they were able to raise $100, and he has seen a much bigger turn out than last year.
Local sponsors Richards Restaurant and Starbucks have also taken part in the event helping to provide free food as well as food people could buy to support the charity.
“The best part is the fact that it spreads the message about The Ability Experience because whether you are here for the philanthropy or you’re here for the food, you’re hearing and understanding the message that we are trying to get across,” Dicola said. “You understand how important it is because if you come spend a dollar on a donut, you know that that dollar is going to a good cause.”
Contact Tier Morrow with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tiermorrow.