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Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Sigma Sigma team up with fundraising empathy dinner for people with disabilities

West Branch sophomore Kevin Laney opens his mouth for a fork full of spaghetti while Farmington Hills freshman Justin Toliver assists him in eating while he's temporarily disabled with a blindfold for the Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma's Empathy Dinner fundraiser Wednesday at Wesley Center on CMU's campus. (Jake May/Staff Photographer)

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority teamed up to raise money for those with disabilities and to raise awareness against discrimination.

On April 4, the two hosted the Push America Empathy Dinner at Wesley Center.

“By providing an environment that people may come and dine with a disability, we hope that they may understand what others must go through for every dinner of their lives,” said Eastpointe junior Jacob Comfort.

This is the first time Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma have partnered with Push America and The National Kidney Foundation to host this type of event.

“This way of living is not very looked into at Central Michigan University, and Phi Sigma Sigma wants to help support Pi Kappa Phi in their first event,” said Goodrich junior Mindy Halligan. “It’s great, because I am very passionate about raising awareness to stop discrimination against those with disabilities and to get more information out there to people about individuals with disabilities.”

Push America is Pi Kappa Phi’s nonprofit focused on raising money, awareness and serving people with disabilities.

Saint Clair Shores junior Sara Nannini, left, reaches out to join hands with Clinton Twp. junior Erica Sell as the two sit down to eat at the empathy dinner, hosted by Pi Kappa Phi Wednesday night. (Jake May/Staff Photographer)

“I personally love running and being active, and I could not imagine being confined to a wheelchair and unable to do what I love so much,” Comfort said.

He said helping to host the dinner offered him the opportunity to help enhance the life of another.

“The reason for putting on this type of event is not to create sympathy for people with disabilities but rather to create empathy and understanding for those who live with these challenges on a daily basis,” said Warren sophomore Craig Regoni.

Tickets to the dinner were $5 from a brother or sister or $6 at the door. Donations were also accepted, and funds benefitted Push America and The National Kidney Foundation.

“If hearing about events such as this excites you or this seems like a cause you might enjoy being a part of, check out Greek Life and considering going Greek, because this is what we are about,” Comfort said.

The fraternity and sorority have also hosted Push-ups4Push and Pedals4Push; both events took place earlier this year.

“Push-ups4Push is a fundraiser we do to raise money for Push America. We do five push-ups for every dollar donated,” Comfort said. “We have also done Pedals4Push, where we have a stationary bike where we have brothers take turns riding for a full 24 hours straight, in effort to taking a stance against the ‘R’ word.”

To make donations, visit the Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma fundraising page.

One Comment

  1. Activites based on empathy could heal the indifferences to others.

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