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University Relations

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Nov. 7, 2005
Contact: Tom Sahli, Phi Delta Theta, (785) 843-6400.

Phi Delta Theta fraternity raises $7,500-plus for ALS walk Oct. 22 at KU

LAWRENCE -- The KU student chapter of Phi Delta Theta men's social fraternity raised more than $7,500 at its first Lawrence Walk to D'Feet ALS held Oct. 22 on the KU campus.

More than 100 people, in addition to Phi Delta Theta members, participated in the walk that began at Memorial Stadium and proceeded about 2.5 miles through campus. Proceeds raised go to the Keith Worthington Chapter of the ALS Association located in Kansas City, Mo. More than 140 similar walks are held through the United States as one type of ALS fund-raiser, including about 20 Walks to D'Feet ALS held this fall in the Kansas, Nebraska and western Missouri area served by the Keith Worthington Chapter.

The Kansas Alpha chapter of Phi Delta Theta at KU plans to sponsor the ALS benefit walk annually. Last year, the chapter raised more than $16,000 to benefit ALS with letter-writing campaigns and a spring basketball tournament. Forty KU chapter members were among volunteers at the Walk to D'Feet ALS held Sept. 18 in Kansas City, Mo., that raised more than $100,000 for the Keith Worthington ALS chapter.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, eventually causing paralysis in its later stages. The disease is often called "Lou Gehrig's Disease" because in 1939 the New York Yankees first baseman retired from baseball after being diagnosed with the disease that still has no known cure or treatment to reverse or halt its progression. ALS is the international philanthropy for Phi Delta Theta in honor of Gehrig, a member of the student chapter at Columbia University.

Coordinators for the Lawrence Walk to D'Feet ALS were its philanthropy co-chairmen, Ryan Mize, Salina sophomore, and Charlie Bengtson, Wichita sophomore. Greyson Clymer, Prairie Village senior, is Phi Delta Theta student chapter president.

From Prairie Village
Clymer, a business administration major, is the son of David and Melanie Clymer and a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School.

From Salina
Mize, an economics and political science major, is the son of John and Karen Mize and a graduate of Salina Central High School.

From Wichita
Bengtson, who is majoring in biology, is the son of David and Mary Bengtson and a graduate of Kapaun Mount Carmel High School.


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