Stockton fraternity giving back with 'Greek Lemonade War'
National competition raises funds for childhood cancer research
Jacklyn McQuarrie, Staff Writer (March 29, 2016)
The members of Stockton University's Alpha Phi Delta fraternity are working hard to reverse the common stereotypes associated with fraternities and sororities, and they're asking for the public's help.
The school's Gamma Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Delta is currently in second place in the "Greek Lemonade War," a national competition hosted by the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. The competition involves 13 fraternities and sororities from across the nation competing to raise the most funds for childhood cancer research.
The event began in November and ends on April 22. Currently, the Stockton group has raised about $2,600 toward research and prevention. It needs to raise just over $2,000 more to pass the first-place team from Texas A&M.
The winning team will receive two tickets to the 2017 Lemon Ball, hosted by the foundation, along with other recognition. "Anything we can raise is great," said fraternity President Jordan Ramos-Farhat. "We don't have a limit. We don't want to stop it somewhere."
Ramos-Farhat, a junior from Belmar, joined the fraternity a year and a half ago. He says the members have always incorporated some type of philanthropic work in their agenda, but they decided to step up their efforts this year after Vice President Angelo Bechara, also a junior, proposed the idea of joining the Greek Lemonade War.
"We've always done the bare minimum," Ramos-Farhat said. "We said we wanted to do something great this year, so we decided to do this. And it's working out really well."
The 22-member fraternity has hosted two large-scale fundraising events thus far, in addition to smaller events. Each year they host the annual Rose Pageant, a talent competition among members of the Stockton community. Proceeds this year went toward the Greek Lemonade War with $800 raised. Then in February, $770 was donated at a skate night at Flyers Skate Zone in Atlantic City.
Ramos-Farhat says the reaction of the Stockton community has been positive. "It's been really good," he said. "I went to a conference a few weeks ago and met a bunch of other fraternity leaders. They were all jealous about our school community. We haven't had a problem with people coming out to things, it's been really good."
Fraternity members aren't oblivious to the stereotypes associated with frat life. They want the community to know the actions of a few do not speak for all. "We want to change the stigma," Bechara, of Egg Harbor Township, said. "To drink and party and do drugs is not our goal. That's not even close to our goal."
The fraternity is asking the public to join its efforts to fight childhood cancer. Individuals can support Alpha Phi Delta's mission by donating via the fraternity's page on the Alex's Lemonade Stand website.
"We all have this problem that we all look for the 'me, me, me,' especially at this time in our lives," Bechara said. "What this fraternity is helping us to realize is that there are so many things bigger than just 'myself.'"
To donate, go to AlexsLemonade.org/MyPage/1209595 (reprinted for educational purposes)
Gamma Mu Leadership for 2016
President - Jordan Ramos-Farhat
Vice President - Angelo Bechara
Secretary - Daniel Novak
Treasurer - Ryan Bray
Pledgemaster - Jacob Hauser
Historian - Angelo Bechara
Chaplain - Daniel Novak
Chapter Founding: Gamma Mu Chapter was founded on February 27, 1987
Chapter Programs & Philanthropy: Alex's Lemonade Stand, South Jersey Field of Dreams
Chapter Email: click here
Chapter Website: click here