ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-seven University of Michigan fraternities and sororities came together last weekend to raise funds to support the Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM).
"Winterfest" exceeded all prior years fundraising levels this year, reaching $120,000 through an online competitive fundraising campaign and team participation fees. Winterfest is an annual philanthropy event, planned primarily by the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and hosted at Pi Kappa Alpha, where thousands of students participate in a day-long broomball tournament.
"Every year I am humbled by the passion and commitment of these incredible young men from the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, who have devoted months of time, resources, team work and enthusiasm to raise funds for families impacted by autism," said Colleen Allen, Ph.D., president and CEO of AAoM. Allen commended the fraternity for developing a budget to maximize profits, setting up a fundraising website, coordinating teams and schedules, designing and constructing an ice rink and, most importantly, working with the Dean of Students and local law enforcement to manage risk and potential problems.
The brothers have specifically requested that the funds raised go toward the AAoM GPS program to purchase life-saving devices for children at risk of wandering. "These guys are literally saving lives," said Allen. The students also have requested that a portion of the funds be used to increase education and awareness of autism on campus throughout the year. "They are raising awareness of autism and fundraising at the same time. It is the best demonstration of what can be accomplished when the efforts of this segment of university life are directed to positive, charitable activities," said Allen.
The fraternity's Event Coordinator Connor Roach added, "This is one of our proudest days as students. Winterfest has been part of student life for years, but we looked at it and thought we could do more with this to help others by creating a simple fundraising competition among the fraternities and sororities who want to participate." The national record for an on-campus fundraiser is $130,000. "We have every intention of exceeding that goal next year," said Roach.
About Autism Alliance of Michigan
The Autism Alliance of Michigan (www.aaomi.org) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to lead efforts to raise expectations and expand opportunities for people touched by autism across the lifespan.
SOURCE Autism Alliance of Michigan