‘Tis the season to be giving, and for the past 15 years the Iota chapter of SUNY Fredonia’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity has taken this to heart — and feet — by raising awareness and money for charities via its annual “Tree Trot.”
Today, the fraternity’s members once again carried a Christmas tree from Fredonia’s university campus all the way to Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo. This year, the chapter supported a new national charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
The journey was a daunting 42 miles and included participation from all members of the Fredonia chapter. The group ran north to Dunkirk and followed Route 5 all the way to Buffalo. They arrived at Lafayette Square at approximately 3:30 p.m., culminating the 12-hour run for charity. The four- to five-foot tall pine tree was donated by Fredonia’s Tuscany Market and carried in a relay fashion, four members at a time. The tree was donated to a Buffalo area family in need at the end of the run.
Roughly $3,000 was raised for the cause. Donations were secured from private individuals and businesses in Fredonia, Dunkirk and Western New York, and additional donations are still being accepted.
To donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Tree Trot for Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit, www.bbbs.org, or contact Sigma Phi Epsilon Vice President of Programming Sean Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-807-1590.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help all children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-on-one relationships with volunteer mentors. This is one of the oldest and largest youth mentoring organizations in the U.S., helping children of all ages in communities across the country. Members of the fraternity have worked with coordinators for volunteer and community service organizations every semester. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s goal is to work with local groups, like the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA), in their quest to help kids who are in a home with no adult care or supervision. Earlier this year Sigma Phi Epsilon also participated in Relay for Life, to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.