NAU Fraternity Raises More Than $32K for Special Olympics Arizona Athletes

Members of Northern Arizona University’s Kappa Alpha Order fraternity recently wrapped up a month-long fundraiser and announced it had raised $32,500 for Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ). The announcement was made with a check presentation to SOAZ athletes and staff following the Kappa Alpha Rose Bowl on April 2, an event that featured a flag football game with Special Olympics Athletes and unified partners, as well as a football clinic for kids 10 and under.

Following the football game, Kappa Alpha had a celebration that featured lawn games, entertainment, free food and drinks, a 50/50 raffle and a live auction. The event concluded with a special presentation to announce the students had raised $32,500.

“We are ecstatic to receive a gift of this magnitude, especially from a group of college fraternity brothers,” said Jamie Heckerman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona. “We are so proud of the members of Kappa Alpha, the sororities and family members who put so much hard work and dedication into a great day of football, fundraising and fun. Our athletes enjoyed every minute, and we are excited that these funds will be used to increase the services for athletes in the Flagstaff area.”

Kappa Alpha spent more than a month fundraising for SOAZ through weeklong philanthropy events, coin wars and T-shirt sales that included custom-made shirts created for the Kappa Alpha Rose Bowl. The initial goal was to raise $15,000, which they more than doubled. 

“My brothers and I at Kappa Alpha Order NAU have always had a special place in our hearts for Special Olympics. Many of us have family members and relatives who participate in Special Olympics, so we found it most fitting that we as a chapter support a cause we all have personal connections with,” said Kappa Alpha member Dylan Vitale. “The idea of hosting this Special Olympics football game gave our brothers the chance to raise money for this foundation, get up close and personal with the athletes and make them feel as special as possible. It also gave us a chance to show the world a group of 70 men who set a goal of raising $15,000 could end up raising more than $32,500 for Special Olympics Arizona. We love to break that stigma of what fraternities are and we take great pride in making an impact in our community.”

Special Olympics Arizona aims to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to live healthy, fulfilling and meaningful lives. This vision is realized through health, leadership and advocacy programs, as well as providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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