For Immediate Release                                             Contact:          Heather N. Redeske
April 4, 2003                                                                                       Communications Coordinator
                                                                                                            Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
                                                                                                            (317) 872-6533 ext. 241

Penn State-Erie Tekes Take the Plunge for Alzheimer’s Research, Raising Over $2000

(Erie, PA) –     Last week, Fraters of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity’s Sigma-Delta chapter at Penn State-Erie jumped right into the freezing waters of Lake Erie to raise money for the Fraternity’s national philanthropy, the Alzheimer’s Association

When the Grand Chapter of TKE called on all chapters to raise money for the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute, the Sigma-Delta chapter of TKE decided to “jump right in” and help make a difference in the lives of the 4 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease. 

Members raised the money over a six-week period, receiving donations of sponsorship from fellow students, members of the Erie community and local businesses.  On a cold Sunday morning, TKE members kept good to their word and jumped into the 30-degree waters of Lake Erie with friends, families and the Erie community cheering them on.

Coordinated by the chapter president, Ryan Sunseri, Sigma-Delta members wanted to take a different approach to their philanthropy. “We wanted to do something that people would want to see, something that people would talk about and say ‘I can’t believe you guys are going to do that!  I’ll definitely donate,’” Sunseri said.     

Their success has fueled the chapter to make this an annual event, and they have already started to plan for next year – making it an all-day community affair complete with a cook-out, festivities and local media coverage. 

Over the course of three years, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has embarked on a mission to sponsor a research investigation under the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute.  The Reagan Research Institute is a portfolio of funded projects within the Alzheimer’s Association Grant Program that serves as a paradigm for one key principle of the entire research effort—a commitment to innovate basic science, by exploring the broadest possible spectrum of approaches to developing Alzheimer’s treatments. 

In his 1994 open letter to America announcing his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, President Reagan stated, “In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition.  Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.” 

Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has embraced this same mission by raising awareness through community service and helping develop a clearer understanding of this disease through research.  A partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association is a fitting tribute to our devoted Alumnus and fellow Frater, Ronald Reagan.

The chapter took great pride in their contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association Ronald Reagan Research Initiative and was proud to honor the former President of the United States and fellow brother,” said Guy Reschenthaler, Sigma-Delta chapter Grammateus (secretary).

Founded in 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon is the world's largest social fraternity, with over 228,000 initiated members and more than 270 undergraduate chapters and colonies in the United States and Canada.  The TKE Vision is to be the best lifelong collegiate social fraternity; the TKE Mission is to aid men in their mental, moral, and social development for life; and the TKE Purpose is to contribute to the advancement of society through the personal growth of our members, and service to others.