Digital Exclusive: USD fraternity hosts charity event for cancer research

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VERMILLION, S.D. (KCAU) – One USD fraternity is encouraging the community to work up a sweat for cancer awareness.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, or PIKE for short, hosted their annual cycle for life event over at the USD Wellness Center this afternoon.

“Cylce for Life is an event that we host every single year to commemorate and honor a past brother who passed away due to leukemia back in 2008. All proceeds go directly to the M.D. Anderson Research Center down in Texas,” said Connor Van Der Werff, president of PIKE.

Folks interested in participating could sign up for either a 30 minute or hour-long session or be a sponsor.

“This event is open to all USD students, but also members of the community. I know that some of our people in our chapter have gotten their parents to even chip in a few dollars so they can sponsor bikes, but not be here physically,” said Carter Linke, Chief Communications Director for PIKE.

Changes had to be made so the event follows COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as limited capacity and having the event last longer than usual.

“Due to COVID, we definitely wanted to make sure that the people that came in and supported us were going to be safe and taken well care of. With that said, we’re going to have limited capacity in here so that’s why we’re having a longer duration today. We’re only allowing about five participants and one instructor in here at a time just to make sure that things are spaced out and everyone’s taking those extra precautions,” said Linke.

Despite this, members are confident they will meet their annual donation goal.

“Our benchmark amount is always we’re trying to raise over $1,000 every year and currently, we’re well on our way towards that. I think that by filling up the classes will easily be able to surpass that. In the past, we’ve raised amounts well over $1,200 to $1,400 which is really cool,” said Van Der Werff.

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