Lambda Chi Alpha raises $13,700 for Ele's Place during philanthropy week ending in boxcar race
Lambda Chi Alpha typically donates to national philanthropies. This year, however, the East Lansing community is their top priority.
At noon on Sunday, sororities and other student organizations eagerly awaited the moment they could hit the gas on their boxcars and battle for the lead in Lambda Chi Alpha’s Junior 500 race at East Lansing High School.
The race was the culmination of a week of events aiming to raise awareness for local non-profit organization Ele’s Place, a healing center for grieving children. It provides support services to young children that are dealing with the death of a parent or loved one, often through peer support group programs.
Sims said with the events leading up to the Junior 500 race, Lambda raised more than $10,000. By the end of the race, they had raised $13,700. The fraternity is leaving their public funding page open for another week or two, with hopes of surpassing $14,000.
“With Ele’s Place we see where our donations are going to because it’s right in East Lansing. ... It’s important for us to see those changes being made,” Advertising junior and Lambda member Mike Messemer said.
Applied engineering sciences junior Kyle Sims, Lambda’s philanthropy chair and organizer of the Junior 500 race, said normally the fraternity does smaller philanthropy events, with the goal of raising about $1,000.
“This year we thought we could amp up our efforts and do a lot more,” Sims said.
Sims said they chose Ele’s Place because it’s local, so members of Lambda had the chance to volunteer at the facility throughout the week. He said being an active part of the organization made the fraternity’s fundraising efforts more real.
Messenger said the Junior 500 combines greek life with the rest of the MSU and East Lansing community. With 100 guys working toward the same cause, he said, they have the opportunity to concentrate all their efforts and try to make a difference.
“It’s a coordinated effort on a very extreme scale, in the way that students can get involved, both greek and non-greek. ... It’s really cool to see the power that a coordinated effort can really have,” Sims said.
Messemer said he enjoys having the opportunity to get behind a great cause such as this one.
Human biology sophomore Lizzie Gray , who competed and won with sorority Alpha Chi Omega in the Junior 500 race, said she thinks the week’s events are a good way to come together and support the community.
Gray said she has known a lot of people who have suffered from the loss of a loved one at a young age, so she thinks it’s important to support Ele’s Place with these events.
“We’re all helping out in every way that we can, and it’s really possible to see how each of our individual efforts can all add up in a really big way,” Sims said.