DTD raises funds for cancer research
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 08:10
Tufts’ Delta Tau Delta (DTD) fraternity raised the most money out of all college teams participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) annual Light the Night Walk last Thursday at the Boston Common.
Thousands of people gathered to walk laps around the central public park, holding illuminated balloons that flashed symbolic colors— white for a survivor, red for a supporter and gold for those who have lost loved ones to cancer, co-chair of the DTD Light the Night team Peter Estes said.
“The reason the event is called Light the Night is that everyone lights a balloon,” Estes, a sophomore, said.
The walk this year honored Jane Farrington, a Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. After four months of chemotherapy and treatment, Farrington fought through the illness and is now cancer-free.
Cancer survivors like Farrington spoke throughout the evening, echoing the event’s slogan: “Walk because someone’s life depends on it.”
The cause is a personal one for DTD, as a brother began participating in Light the Night after he was diagnosed with leukemia.
The fraternity put themselves behind the cause to support him, according to DTD President Alexander Freiberg, a senior.
The brothers began planning the event last month, requesting donations from the community to reach their goal of $5,000. DTD’s team of 50 brothers surpassed that goal and raised over $6,140.
Bentley University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee had the second highest fundraising total at $5,655.
“We fundraised through outreach to friends and family, and people responded very positively,” captain of the DTD Light the Night team Mark Meiselbach, a sophomore, said.
“We were the only Tufts team there and almost every brother helped out in our contributions.”
Funds go towards blood cancer research, local peer-to-peer counseling programs and support groups, educational opportunities for patients and their families and the LLS Information Resource Center, according to the LLS website.
“We can easily make this a bigger event next year,” Estes said. “Everyone participates in Relay for Life, an event with a similar cause and setup in the spring, so Light the Night can be a fall complement to that. This can be a stepping stone to bigger and more active events.”
Since DTD was re-chartered in April 2010 after a four-year suspension, the fraternity has been eager to create and maintain a good image within the Tufts community.
“My co-chair and I wanted to make fraternities have a positive impact and for Greek societies as a whole to do that,” Meiselbach said.
“I think part of any fraternity’s goal when doing philanthropy is to involve others and lead the way,” Freiberg added. “Our aim is to strengthen our whole community and show our dedication to a certain cause.”
LLS holds walks in over 200 communities across the country. Event participants in 2011 raised over $76.7 million for blood cancer research. This year, the Boston walk reached its goal of raising over $1.4 million.
“This was a great experience,” Estes said. “It really gives DTD some momentum and energy at the beginning of the year for our entire fraternity to be so involved in this event.”