WPI Students Teeter toward Charitable Goal

Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - As anyone who has raised money for a worthy cause knows, the job has its ups and downs. Just ask two intrepid groups at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. For seven years, members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority have collected donations for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and St. Jude's Children's Hospital through a five-day Teeter-Totter-A-Thon. Perched on a giant teeter-totter, students take shifts to seesaw nonstop. This year, the event will take place from noon, April 13, through noon, April 18, at two locations: the WPI Quad and the Greendale Mall in Worcester.

"This years goal is $6,000," says Justin Butterfield, Teeter-Totter-A-Thon chairman and member of Lambda Chi Alpha. "This is the largest goal ever to be attempted."

Last year the WPI groups raised $4,500, split evenly between the two charities. In addition to two students on the teeter-totter, two others solicit passersby for donations. About half the money is raised on campus and half at the mall.

"It's technically a mandatory event for both the fraternity and sorority but there's never anyone who doesn't want to do this," Butterfield says. "It's a really fun event. Each person is scheduled for four to five hours altogether but we've had one person stay on 21 hours. That's our record."

Two years ago, the event saw its only mishap. "Every year we have a photo session at the end," Butterfield says. "Year before last, we took our photo and everyone got on the teeter-totter. Unfortunately, it cracked in the middle. So we actually rebuilt the teeter-totter with donations from local hardware stores. Now it's bigger than the old one and reinforced so it will never break."

The WPI students are already collecting donations in anticipation of the event. Checks may be made out to Alpha Gamma Delta and mailed to Teeter-Totter-A-Thon, 30 Dean St., Worcester, MA 01609. For more information, contact Butterfield at 508-480-7404 or co-organizer Amy Bliven at 401-440-6972.

WPI has 135 clubs and organizations, many of which involve students as community volunteers.