Delta Epsilon Chapter holds marathon on the square to raise awareness for people with disabilities

They thought back to the man in the SUV who looped around the square twice, yelling profanities from his window — as seen in a video recorded on one of the member’s phones.

“I think it was solely because he saw the fraternity letters,” said Ryan Campbell, the president of the chapter, standing Thursday beside the stationary bike under the cold morning’s rain and sleet.

Senior Adam Walton, Monster energy drink in hand, shrugged atop the bike. “We just kept on pedalling,” he said.

Campbell supposed the man in the SUV wasn’t aware of the fraternity’s week-long, rain-or-shine purpose on the square: to bring awareness to people with disabilities and raise money for The Ability Experience, Pi Kappa Phi’s official philanthropy organization. With the help of year-around events from chapters around the country, The Ability Experience has donated more than $15 million to benefit people with disabilities and organizations that serve them, according to the nonprofit’s website.

Delta Epsilon Chapter (Jacksonville State) sees the cause important locally; according to latest Census data, nearly 14 percent of Calhoun County citizens under 65 live with some kind of disability.

“Also,” Campbell said, “it’s important to us that we really try to take this on because there’s a negative image of fraternities out there. That’s another part of this, showing, you know, we really do care about the community. We care.”

Visibility was important. What better place than the public square?

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