The brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha obliterated their fundraising goal in the third iteration of their annual Shave for Schreiber, Buzz for Bobby charity event.
Pike raised approximately $80,000—exceeding their $50,000 goal—in this year’s fundraiser to honor Bobby Menges and senior Mark Schreiber. Schreiber is currently in remission from central nervous system germinoma, which he was diagnosed with in January 2016. Menges was a brother in the fraternity when he died from cancer in September 2017.
Losing Menges made the brothers especially motivated this year to make the fundraiser the best it has ever been.
“The first year, the event was thrown together in two-ish weeks and raised $61,000,” said sophomore Aaron Rissman, co-philanthropy chair for Pike. “This year, we started planning before Thanksgiving, even though the event wasn’t until March. It just meant so much to us and so much to the fraternity, so much to Bobby, that we knew it had to be the best that it could be.”
The original premise of the fundraiser was for Pike members to raise money by shaving their heads in solidarity with Menges and Schreiber. It expanded this year to include a blood drive run through the American Red Cross and the Pantene Beautiful Lengths hair donation program, which allows girls to donate their hair to be turned into wigs for cancer patients.
“We raised something like 43 units of blood, we had 11 girls donate their hair to make wigs, and over 80 people shave their heads,” said junior Noah Eckberg, president of the fraternity. “Roughly 60 of them came from Pike, so 20 other Duke students or members of the community decided that this was a worthy enough cause for them to shave their head as well. That’s something we thought was really cool.”
This year, Pike also made adjustments to where the funds that were raised were given. Whereas all money raised the first year went to the Duke University Children’s Hospital, the fundraiser narrowed the recipient of funds to the hospital’s adolescent and young adult oncology program in its second year.
This year, proceeds were divided between the oncology program and the Bobby Menges “I’m Not Done Yet” Memorial Fund, which provides funding for transitioning adolescents to the NYU-Winthrop University Hospital Oncology program.
Sophomore Ryan Fader, co-philanthropy chair for Pike, explained that their personal connection to Menges and prior experience with philanthropy work largely contributed to their drive to make this year’s event a success.
“Bobby was one of the first people I met in Pike, and I really looked up to him,” Fader said. “I saw how much the event meant to him and wanted to run it to make him proud.”
They also emphasized how the event is a group endeavor, with the whole fraternity throwing itself into the event every year.
“We change philanthropy chairs every year,” Eckberg said “All of us were somewhat new to it this year, in that I wasn’t president last year. We try to preserve institutional knowledge, but naturally there’s turnover.”
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Pike hopes to continue the trend of widening the scope of S4S B4B.
“We need to grow beyond our own realm,” Eckberg said. “This event is not so much about Pike as it is about cancer patients worldwide and Duke coming together as a whole. If we really want to raise more money and get more people involved, we need to expand past the Duke community and far beyond it.”