PIKE donates thousands to UA Cancer Center
The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (PIKE), Gamma Delta Chapter of the UA presented a check for $14,500 to the UA Cancer Center on Friday.
PIKE got the funds through the CATWalk, a community service event that raises funds for women’s cancer research, which was held on Dec. 1, 2012, according to then PIKE president Charles Eisner.
While CATWalk is in its 13th year, this was the first year PIKE hosted the event alone rather than working with a group of sororities and fraternities.
“The event itself stayed relatively the same,” Eisner said. “It had the same three races; it was still for Lute Olson; it was still for the Cancer Center. It just changed from the entire Greek Life participating to one fraternity in Greek Life participating.”
The CATWalk was put together 12 years ago in 2001, after coach Lute Olson’s wife Bobbi died of ovarian cancer, according to Garrick Pfeiffer, external vice president of PIKE and a senior studying physiology.
“The greeks on campus went to Lute Olson; they wanted to do something in memory of Bobbi. They came up with this idea to host the CATWalk to benefit the UA Cancer Center,” Pfeiffer said.
PIKE members started preparing for the 2012 CATWalk in February 2011. With more than 13 different sponsors, more than 75 individual donations and 379 people walking and running in different events, the 2012 CATWalk was a success, said Joshua Ruder, a senior studying physics and economics, and executive director of CATWalk.
“If the PIKEs had not picked up the walk, the event would have been dropped,” Olson said. “I am just so appreciative of them willing to do the walk. Without them it wouldn’t have happened.”
Patrick Weber, a systems engineering junior and the new director of PIKE, is already planning the next CATWalk.
“It is the most meaningful and enriching event I have ever participated in because the people I have met just through coordinating this, from Dr. [David] Alberts, the director of the Arizona Cancer Center, to Lute and Kelly Olson, to business owners, and to actual cancer survivor patients, you just see the passion these people have to fight this horrible disease,” Pfeiffer said.
PIKE members said they’ve personally been affected by cancer as one of their fellow PIKE alumni survived cancer.
“It really hits home, having someone we know survive cancer. We appreciate being able to help this cause,” Eisner said.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity’s UA chapter was named Gamma Alpha. The UA chapter is known as Gamma Delta. This error has been corrected._