SAE joins Drake’s effort to help Belize children

SAE joins Drakes effort to help Belize children

by Tiffany VanVolkinburg

Continuing with the tradition of service, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity along with other Simpson students are participating in a fundraiser on Saturday, March 26, to raise money to build schools for impoverished children in Belize—sponsored by the students of Drake University.

This fundraiser will be in the form of a 12-hour dance marathon, with many events taking place amongst the dancing.

“There will be a live TV telecast at 1:00 p.m. to Belize,” said James Albert, professor of law at the Drake University Law School. “500 children will be jammed into the streets of Punta Gorda, Belize…a live camera will be there to telecast it back to the Drake campus. [They] will speak to us and show us their native dances. Then, Simpson and Drake student leaders will introduce themselves and their fraternities, sororities or athletic teams on TV for all those children in Belize.”

Originally brought to the attention of an SAE member, freshman Logan DeVries, through his girlfriend’s membership in Kappa Psi—a professional fraternity for pharmacy at Drake—all of SAE was enthusiastic to get involved with this fundraiser.

“[My girlfriend] asked me one day if I would like to be a part of [the Belize Dance Marathon] team,” DeVries said. “However, knowing how important philanthropy is to the brothers of my chapter, I knew that they would take an interest in this—which they did.”

Echoing DeVries’ enthusiasm, members of SAE are looking forward to the marathon.

“Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the children on the live feed that will be displayed during the event,” junior Keith McCarthy said. “Other than that, it is really exciting to know that we are helping to provide the children of Belize with the funds to make education more easily available.”

This is the first year the Belize Dance Marathon has been in place; however the response to this event has been outstanding. There will be 1,000 Simpson and Drake students dancing to make a difference for students in Belize. Along with SAE, two of Simpson’s own sororities are involved—Delta Delta Delta (DDD) and Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG)—as well as members of the men’s and women’s soccer teams.

“It is such a powerful thing to be a part of, and to know that those children will be able to attend school without a worry is awesome,” DeVries said. “When they found out that we would have enough money to build a school for them, they went out started digging the foundation themselves.”

With such a powerful outcome, SAE is currently in the process of attempting to bring the Belize Dance Marathon to Simpson next year.

“There are plans in the works to bring it to Simpson next year…It isn’t set in stone, but we are looking into making this one of our national philanthropy charities that we donate to/raise money for,” McCarthy said.

If you want to participate this year, however, there is still a chance to register to participate. Contact a member of SAE to fill out a registration form. There is a $10 registration fee that will allow admittance into the event. Any student can register right up to the event and attendance is not required for the entire 12 hours.

“It’s really more than a ‘dance marathon,’ Albert said. “It’s a 12-hour party with live bands (The Simpson SAE band that won Simpson’s talent show and Egg, that won VEISHA at ISU), KISS 107 FM Disc Jockey Dustin Kross, live music, entertainment, dancing lessons, all the food you can eat.”