Members of DePauw University and Wabash College Phi Delta Theta chapters presented the game ball to officials prior to the start of this week’s 120th Monon Bell football game.
The ball was relayed on foot and bike between the two campuses this past Friday in advance of the classic.
“The idea was to raise both awareness and funds for our International fraternity charity The ALS Association” said DePauw chapter President Jake Rust ’15. “In addition, it help sets a tone for the respect we have for the event and the competition.”
ALS – commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” – is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS.
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting this disease on every level.
As The “Iron Man” Lou Gehrig was a member of Phi Delta Theta. They have adopted ALS as their international charity.
The Monon Bell football game, first held in 1890, is staged annually between Wabash and DePauw – two stalwarts of NCAA Division III athletics and both highly regarded national liberal arts colleges. The trophy is an old locomotive bell donated by the Monon Railroad Line which once had service between the two cities.
Wabash Phi Delts escorted the ball halfway between Crawfordsville and Greencastle. Then, Ryan Heeb ’14 led a team of DePauw Phis who carried it the rest of the way on foot and bike.
After the game, the ball was presented to Jim Cumming a 1961 Wabash Phi Delt who was the winner of a raffle held earlier in the week at an alumni dinner.
“We are committed to making this an annual event” shared Chapter Advisor CJ Johnston ’83. “This year, we’ll present about $3,000 to ALS. Next year we are planning to involve more alumni in the relay and have a target of $10,000.” Johnston added “We are grateful to DePauw Athletic Director Stevie Baker-Watson for her support of this very positive event.”