A few months ago, the KU community was saddened to hear that junior Elementary Education major Jean Shapcott had been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. Since students were informed via the KU Greek Life Facebook page (Shapcott is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority) over winter break, various groups have come together to raise money for Shapcott and her family through these trying times of medical bills and various funds, as Shapcott currently resides in New York at the Sloan Kettering Center.
This Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sigma Pi Fraternity, along with local nonprofit Haydenfilms Institute (HFI), created by 2001 KU graduate Hayden Craddolph, has organized a canning event for students and others to participate in. Canning, in simple terms, is when organizations stand outside of various shops and stores (with the location’s permission) and collect any money that people will donate. Those involved this weekend will be spread out to ten separate locations in the Allentown and Reading areas.
Students from various KU fraternities and sororities will be working this canning event. Over 200 students have “joined” the event on Facebook, and if that is any indicator to how many students will truly be participating, it should be an extremely successful event.
“I want at least 200 people to come out,” said Imad Taylor, Vice President of Sigma Pi and orchestrator of the event’s Facebook group. “If each person earns $100, we could make upwards of $20,000, half of which would go to Jean.”
The event is not only limited to those in Greek Life. Anyone who would like to participate is more than welcome to help the cause.
“I want this to bring all different organizations together to represent Kutztown as a whole working towards such a great cause,” said Taylor.
According to the “HFI Event for Jean Shapcott” Facebook event, in previous canning endeavors, Sigma Pi has raised over $9,000. This time around, half of the proceeds will be donated toward Shapcott and her family, and the other half will be given to Haydenfilms’ Youth Media Initiative, a project that works with at-risk teens from the Reading area.
“I hope that this will lead to more volunteers for HFI, and that more students will become educated about what HFI really is,” said Taylor.
For all those interested in participating, transportation by Haydenfilms will be at the Giant supermarket in Reading (1100 Rockland St. Reading, PA 19604) at 8 a.m. The transportation will then take participants to one of the ten various pre-approved locations. Participants will be given a t-shirt, canister and permit when they arrive at the meeting location. For those who cannot find a ride to the Giant, rides will be waiting outside of Rothermel Hall at 7:30 a.m.
Taylor is encouraging those who are participating to wear St. Patrick’s Day apparel. Some organizations have purchased “Team Jean” t-shirts, but for others, Taylor believes that the St. Patrick’s Day clothing will draw in donations and keep everyone enthusiastic. There will also be about 100 blue HFI shirts available.
For more information, those interested can look up the event on Facebook, or contact either Hayden Craddolph or Imad Taylor through the site.
By Taylor Zimmerman