John Minton ’15 and fraternity brothers raise money for victims of Danville shooting
Serving others is par for the course for most people at Centre, especially for those students involved in Greek life. John Minton ’15 and his brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) are showing their spirit of service this week by organizing a fundraiser for the families of victims of a recent Danville shooting.
On Friday, September 20, a Danville pawnshop was robbed, and the two store-owners were killed, leaving behind both a 14-month-old and 9-year-old child. In response to the tragedy, the couple’s families created the Mike and Angela Hockensmith Memorial Fund.
Minton in particular became interested in finding a way to heal the community and help the newly orphaned children.
“In a town as small as Danville, when something like that happens, it’s magnified a lot more. It’s felt throughout the whole community,” he said in a recent news interview. “I just wanted to get involved.”
In the same interview, Minton explained how his confusion about the scenario during Friday’s campus lockdown solidified into resolve that weekend.
“To be honest, it didn’t really hit home with me until Sunday,” he said. “I was sitting in the church pew, and I just started thinking about the story: the shooting, the two kids, the 9-year-old having to call 911 and losing his parents, and it just really hit me then.”
Minton’s resolve manifested as a campus-wide fundraiser, with brothers of SAE collecting funds outside of Cowan Dining Hall every day this week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Creating a fundraiser on campus was very important to Minton; he explains, “we are a big part of the Danville community, and I knew if I started something like this, the Centre community would provide overwhelming support.”
While Minton has experience participating in annual fundraising through SAE (recent projects include a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network and “Project Winterize,” which helps local neighborhoods with yard work and other fall chores), Minton says “this fundraiser was a little different; it came together in a matter of hours after I heard an announcement on the radio about making donations to the Mike and Angela Hockensmith Memorial Fund.”
Thus far, the fundraiser has been a rousing success, with over $1,000 collected by its second day.
“All the support we’ve received has been a blessing,” says Minton.
Though SAE will be specifically collecting money this week, the fundraiser will be ongoing, with donation jars located in Young 109, the Crounse fourth floor break room, Olin copy room, and Sutcliffe front desk.
For those unable to donate to the SAE campaign, donations can be made to the Mike and Angela Hockensmith Memorial Fund at any PNC Bank.
By Mariel Smith