A focus on philanthropy brings Kansas Gamma alumni and undergraduates together to raise funds for local schools
By Michael Goodpasture, Kansas State ’00
In late 2021, I was reading through the annual Kansas Gamma alumni newsletter, The Gazette, when a particular article caught my attention. The Kansas Gamma Chapter created the CHutch Foundation to honor Brother Chandler Hutcheson, who had passed away two years before. Chandler was an education major, and the proceeds from their fundraiser would be donated to a Manhattan, Kansas, elementary school to pay for student supplies and school lunches. They donated $3,000 and sponsored a Phi Delt Field Day for the students. On behalf of a school, these efforts were significant to me because, as co-owner of The Alms Group, a real estate brokerage in Manhattan, Kansas, our company has philanthropic programs with five local school districts. Based on their success, I decided to reach out to the chapter to gauge their interest in partnering to create more impact on students, teachers, and classrooms. In the early spring of 2022, we met, and the beginnings of a plan were laid out. Apps in Aggieville, a kids’ carnival and college student block party in Manhattan’s entertainment district, was born.
On August 26, 2022, the inaugural Apps in Aggieville event was held. More than 2,000 school children and their parents attended to enjoy appetizers, carnival games, inflatables, and a dunk tank! Twelve restaurants donated appetizers, and more than three hundred student volunteers (including over fifty Phis!) helped check in guests, serve appetizers, manage carnival games, braid and spray paint hair, paint faces, apply temporary tattoos, and set up/tear down all the event’s infrastructure. Kansas Gamma members Sam Hesse, ’24, Maguire Hardin, ’24, and Bryar O’Neil, ’25, were instrumental in recruiting and coordinating the volunteers from more than thirty K-State fraternities and sororities. Tickets to the event were sold out, raising $10,000. A matching gift from The Alms Group raised the total to $20,000, supporting The Alms Group’s educational philanthropy program, ALMS. Raised funds will support teacher grants, awards, and other school and classroom projects.
Working with the Phis was a gratifying experience for me and our team at The Alms Group. I’m so proud of the Phis at Kansas Gamma. They’ve built a brotherhood at Kansas State that they can all be very proud of, and the lessons they take away from community leadership opportunities like our Apps event will serve them well. I look forward to hosting the Apps event with my brothers from Kansas Gamma again next year.