Tootsie Roll drive aids mentally handicapped

By Christine Boike

More than $11,000 was collected by NIU campus organizations and the local Knights of Columbus organization last weekend in the Tootsie Roll drive to help the cause for the mentally handicapped.

Bill Brady, a Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll drive co-chairman, said the local organization has been participating in the annual drive for the last 15 to 20 years and helps “obtain funds for the mentally handicapped throughout the U.S.”

e said there would be 125-150 students helping on busy corners throughout DeKalb and Sycamore and they are very important to the cause. Brady said without the students they would not have done as well.

Campus organizations involved with the drive were Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Alpha Psi, Delta Sigma Pi, Delta Upsilon, Sigma Lambda Sigma and NIU Special Education. Drive co-Chairman Jeff Jefko said students are “largely responsible for us raising a majority of the money.”

DU member Chris Martin said this was the fifth year the fraternity participated. They had 75 members working at the more major intersections Friday in two-hour shifts. “We had a lot of fun, and people like to help out,” he said.

Delta Sigs Philanthropy Chairman Chris Shields said, “The guys (in the fraternity) are really receptive.” He said one reason for their participation is “one of our members’ mom died” and she contributed money to the mentally handicapped. “We are doing it in her memory.”

Brady said, “Our members work hard” and there is an “advantage because we have NIU here.”

About 90 percent of the money will be “donated to local groups that provide services for mentally handicapped,” and 10 percent will be donated to the state chapter, Brady said.