By: Kirsten Gilbert – Staff Writer
More than $5,000 were raised by University of Dayton students for Leukemia patient by the toss of a Frisbee Saturday, March 15 on Stuart Field.
UD’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity hosted a fundraiser for Greg Patton, cancer patient, and friend of many students. Although Patton does not attend the university, his connection with UD stems from his friendship with many students from St. Louis, Patton’s hometown, as well as seven fraternity members.
“KanJam for Greg” was organized by sophomore mechanical engineering major Ryan Shea, who serves as the community service chair for the fraternity, and sophomore education major Joe Byrne, the fraternity philanthropy chair.
Patton’s battle with Leukemia, cancer of the blood cells, began in October of last year, when he was diagnosed after months of feeling ill, Shea said. For six months, Patton has been intermittently hospitalized for intense rounds of chemotherapy treatments, radiation and blood transfusions but has now reached remission, he said.
Byrne said the fraternity tries to accomplish two fundraisers every year. One with the fraternity’s national chapter, with donations going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and one that has a personal connection to Delta’s members, he said.
“I decided to become a key member in running this event because Greg, who we are raising money for, is one of my best friends from high school and I felt a need to do everything I could to help him out,” Shea said.
An estimated 386 students participated in the KanJam tournament, a sport of shooting Frisbees into a can, at a cost of $10 per person, Shea said. With single-round elimination, teams quickly competed and moved up in ranking.
“The top 16 teams were awarded prizes ranging from gift cards, t-shirts, and other prizes totaling $1600. All the participants were automatically entered into a drawing for a Kate Spade wallet and coffee table when they signed up to compete” Shea said.
Participants said they enjoyed the unique sport played in the tournament and the focus on helping a friend of a fellow Flyer.
“I joined the fundraiser because it was for a good cause,” said Claire Sanfilippo, a freshman international studies major. “I learned how to play KanJam before coming to UD, but my friends and I play it all the time in Marycrest.”
Delta Tau Delta’s original goal was for 500 attendees, but that goal was lowered to 200 teams or 400 people, She said. At the fundraiser, 182 teams were present along and with contributions from local businesses, the monetary goal was reached.
Delta Tau Delta brother Matthew Kahwaji, a sophomore marketing major, said he felt a need to help with Greg’s cause understanding the severity of the disease.
“Cancer is nothing easy,” he said.
Students interested in donating to the cause can make checks payable to Delta Tau Delta – Theta Rho Chapter and should be sent to 21 Kiefaber St.