Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity leapfrogs to state capitol, follows philanthropic tradition

Posted by Centre News in Community Service, Greek Life, News 15 May 2014

dekeLeapfrogathon 2014 and 1975While philanthropy is a top priority for every Greek organization at Centre College, the men of the Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) recently went off the beaten path to serve the community. With a goal to raise money and awareness for the Heart of Kentucky United Way (HKUW), the fraternity members successfully leapfrogged 43.1 miles for more than 12 hours from Centre’s campus to the steps of the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort. But this wasn’t the first Leapfrog-A-Thon in Iota chapter history; they first began leaping for a cause back in 1975 (pictured right).

Tanner Lyons ’16, who currently serves as DKE’s philanthropy chair, says reviving this unique event allowed current members to connect to their chapter’s past.

“I felt like this event brought me closer to my brothers who accomplished the same feat 39 years ago,” he explains. “And to those who made the journey with me.”

Members of DKE (or “the Dekes” as they are known on campus) have raised more than $2,900 in donations for HKUW, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health, education and financial stability for those in need in local communities. Lyons emphasizes that organizations like this need support now more than ever.

“The economy has not been kind to people, and philanthropic organizations like HKUW have taken a major hit as a result,” he says. “If it takes 30 college men to leapfrog 43.1 miles to the Kentucky State Capitol to get an extra dollar donated to any philanthropy organization, then I can guarantee you that 30 Dekes will be out in the middle of the night, while it is raining, to raise that extra dollar.”

DKE Leapfrogathon 2014 1The Dekes coordinated the event so that five to six men would alternate between leapfrogging and jogging or walking on the side of the road for two-hour shifts. A caravan of cars followed closely so that if one brother needed to rest, another was there to replace him. Despite rainy weather and the dozens of miles that had to be covered, the men made it to the steps of the Capitol, where they were welcomed by Colmon Elridge, a member of United Way of Kentucky’s board of directors and executive assistant to Governor Steve Beshear (pictured right).

Alex Hurley ’14 says reviving this event was not about proving anything but rather about living up to their potential as an organization.

“Bringing back Leapfrog-A-Thon reminded me that Deke is much bigger than any one member and lasts much longer than any one generation of members,” he explains. “We did this event to show the world that we still love to go above and beyond the call of duty for important things like philanthropy and service.

“The uniqueness of the event also speaks to an old Iota chapter saying,” Hurley continues. “‘Delta Kappa Epsilon — the straw that stirs the drink’, which means it’s in our nature to keep things interesting.”

by Caitlan Cole ’14

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