UWP fraternity donates dollars for hospital emergency cart

December 27, 2002

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2002_12_27.jpg UWP Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers Ken McHone, left, and Jeff Benson line dollar bills up on the sidewalk for the "mile of money," a new crash cart project for Southwest Health Center. The fraternity collected about half of the dollar amount needed for the emergency cart. UWP Public Relations Photo by CeiCei Shue.

PLATTEVILLE - Imagine taping three city blocks' worth of dollar bills together end to end, laying them on an icy sidewalk to see how far the bills would stretch, then giving it all away.

Members of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity decided to collect a "mile of money" towards purchasing an emergency medical cart for Platteville's Southwest Health Center.

Although the mile did not materialize, the fraternity collected $1,321 and donated it to the hospital.

Southwest Health Center Director of Patient Care Services Joyce Graves commended the fraternity for its generosity. "This was a great gesture, and I give them all the kudos in the world," said Graves.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon donation will cover about half the cost of the cart, which is used in life threatening or "code blue" situations, said Graves. "This is very heartwarming and a very nice surprise."

Random Lake native Mike Brunner, a UWP junior chemistry major, was on the front lines collecting dollar bills. Brunner's stint was during one of the coldest weekends of the year, standing outside Wal-Mart and Dick's Supermarket in Platteville. "I was wearing two sweatshirts under my jacket and a couple of pairs of gloves," said Brunner. "I still froze."

The hours spent in the cold were worth it, though. "It was a good event," said Brunner. "The entire brotherhood helped raise the money."

Sigma Phi Epsilon Philanthropy and Community Service Chair Ken McHone echoed Brunner's sentiments. McHone, a Beloit native with an undeclared major, said the effort was stressful at times. "But it was for a good cause," he added.

"This was a continuation of our commitment to the community," said McHone. "We do community service a lot." Earlier in the semester, Sigma Phi Epsilon delivered Meals on Wheels for two weeks, he said.

McHone presented the check to Staci Coomer, hospital foundation executive director and Graves.

"We were very excited about this," said Coomer. "They initiated this by calling us to ask what we needed. We are so thrilled that students at the University would help us."

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