11th annual Race around the Rock

By Kristin Nikonetz

Last week, as passers-by saw purple-clad men steering scooters around our landmark rock, many of them automatically knew what was going on. It was Phi Gamma Delta’s 11th annual Race Around the Rock fundraiser for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

"Race Around the Rock is our major event," said fraternity member Mark Renneberg. "It runs from noon on Thursday to noon on Friday. Members from the fraternity ride around the rock [on scooters]."

Some members of the fraternity quickly discovered their commitment to raise money for the benefit of others would be a chilly one. Weather conditions on Thursday night were similar to those of early winter, a light snowfall included. Some fraternity members camped out in tents so they could sleep before their shift on the scooter.

"Part of the main aim of the fraternity is to interact with the community through philanthropic events," said Renneberg. "The weather is very unpredictable in Calgary. We would do it rain or shine, except if there was a hurricane."

Race Around the Rock received support from people off-campus as well. The event had 10 sponsors, which included Molson Canadian, Valley Ridge Golf Club and Cloverdale Paint. The fraternity members received pledges from friends, family and associates. In total, they raised approximately $1,000, around $600 of which came from people on-campus. All proceeds go to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

"[Crohn’s disease] affects a number of Canadians, but the profile of the disease is not very high," said Renneberg.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and the fraternity are very satisfied with the profile and the outcome of this year’s fundraiser.

"This is their 11th annual race and they raised $11,000 over 11 years," said Western Canada Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, Roger Andronik.
With help from the fraternity, the Foundation is able to offer four student scholarships.

"University of Calgary has a science intestinal disease research unit, IDRU. There are only two and one of them is at the U of C, the other in Ontario. They are raising money to help research students at the U of C," said Roger Andronik.

"I think we got the support we needed," said Karl Martins, chairman of philanthropy for Phi Gamma Delta. "Thank you university campus for your continued support.

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