Fraternity dribbling to collect money for Heart Association


Basketball in the commons? In the end of October? At three in the morning?

It may sound crazy, but members of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity were outside Thursday night bouncing basketballs to raise money for the Heart Association.

The fraternity held its fall philanthropy, “Bouncing for Beats,” from noon Thursday to noon Friday in the King Memorial Commons. The fraternity hoped to have raised $500 for the association.

The national chapter of the fraternity has been doing the campaign since 1960. The NIU chapter has been doing the fall campaign since 1982, its first year at NIU.

The cold weather caused some fraternity members problems. “Just being out there for so long gave me a cold,” said House Member Arnie Libunao. “It was absolutely freezing out there.”

Libunao said he feels the cold weather may have affected people’s donations. “In the past, people would approach us and donate their money,” he said. “This year we had to approach people to donate money.”

Others fraternity members said they felt the cold weather brought out the best in people. “Around two in the morning this guy from Kappa Sigma came by and talked to us for a little while and donated some money,” said House Member John Holanday. “Then, about 20 minutes later he came back with cups of warm coffee. It was really cool of him to do that.”

Members worked in both hour and two hour shifts throughout the day and night. About 40 fraternity members participated in the event.

Chris Locke, vice president of Sigma Alpha Mu, said the late hours did not affect house participation. He said all shifts were on a volunteer basis.

“A lot of people worked late at the library so they were willing to take an hour off for a study break,” Locke said. “On Thursday nights, a lot of people stay out late anyway, so we had no problem getting people to volunteer for the strange hours.”

In the spring, the fraternity is planning on a larger philanthropy to involve the entire greek community. Proceeds from the as-yet unplanned sporting event will go toward the Heart Association and for a fraternity alumni who recently had a heart transplant.

House members said they feel the philanthropy event benefited both the fraternity and the Heart Association.

“It’s good because we were raising money for a good cause and because it was gratifying for anyone who worked on the project,” Holanday said. “It really showed how strong our brotherhood is in this fraternity.”