Tau Kappa Epsilon participates in annual St. Jude walk

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Tau Kappa Epsilon participates in annual St. Jude walk

Walkers start the walk with high spirits.

Walkers start the walk with high spirits.

Kaetln Harrison

Walkers start the walk with high spirits.

Kaetln Harrison

Kaetln Harrison

Walkers start the walk with high spirits.

Kaetln Harrison, Staff Reporter

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This past Saturday IU Southeast’s Tau Kappa Epsilon participated in the annual St. Jude walk at the Louisville Zoo. Walkers and runners were able to take in the sights of the animals while raising money for children in need.

Ethan Wells, marketing sophomore, was in charge of this year’s fundraising efforts.

“The walk raises awareness to the children diagnosed with cancer and how St. Jude saves the lives of those children. I, along with Hugo Bacillio, are the team leaders and are in charge of all of our sponsors and raising money for the walk. We love St. Jude and all of the hope it brings. I mean, who doesn’t love kids?” Wells said.

This event is extremely important to Tau Kappa Epsilon because the founder of St. Jude was a member of their organization.

“His name was Danny Thomas and the fact that he started such an amazing cause makes us want to help out in the cause even more,” Wells said.

Tau Kappa Epsilon’s participation with this event not only benefits their chapter, but the event also benefits IU Southeast as a whole.

“The event puts IU Southeast on the map in regards to money raised. TKE nation raises over $1.2 million a year. Right now, we are one of the top ten teams raising money for the walk in Louisville,” he said.

The walk is fairly new to the chapter but their involvement with St. Jude is a long held tradition.

“We’ve been doing this event for the past three years and have been incorporated with St. Jude since our chapter was founded. We went to committee meetings for the event all summer at least twice a month to prepare. We were able to raise $3,432 for the children,” he said.

Raising the large sum of money however was not an easy task. Braiden Vaughn, criminal justice junior, described the strenuous process.

“Most years we have until November to raise money but this year we only had a few short weeks after school started. We were scrambling to set up donation tables throughout the week to raise money along with setting a table up outside the local Wal-Mart,” Vaughn said. “Our goal was to raise $3,000 in about a month and we ended up raising over $3,400 and were in the top three of corporate donations this year.”

Vaughn gladly sacrificed his Saturday morning; all for the kids.

“The best aspect of the event to me is how we all come together on a Saturday morning to walk and raise money for the kiddos. Their stories and their fights are what make it all worth it,” Vaughn  said.

The event is so important to the members of Tau Kappa Epsilon’s that even Alumni members come back to participate. Stephen Schmidt, mathematics alumni, continued his participation to help raise funds for a great cause.

“The funds go to keeping the hospital running because patients never have to pay for the services offered at the hospital and they operate entirely off of donations,” Schmidt said.

Many members of IU Southeast’s greek life came out to support Tau Kappa Epsilon’s efforts to raise money for this cause. Brittany Murray, communications senior, attended the event in support of a child with cancer.

I’ve known people or have had family members diagnosed with some form of cancer, so it just was really cool to see everyone come out for the same reason. Today I participated in honor of a little girl named Morgan who my Sigma Kappa sister knows. She has just started getting chemotherapy,” Murray said.

IU southeast students were only a portion of many who participated in the walk; but it was clear that they were all there for one thing: the kids.