Thanks to the Chi Psi fraternity and others in the Union community, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady have been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Rite Aid Foundation.
The Boys and Girls Clubs participated in the foundation’s “Big Hearts Give” Challenge from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31. To qualify for the maximum $20,000 grant, the non-profit organization needed to sign up at least 300 people for the Rite Aid Kid Cents Charity.
Despite an organization-wide promotion, Boys and Girls had signed up only 21 by December.
“We decided to ask the fraternity to assist us, as we realized we probably couldn’t reach 300 designations on our own,” said Lauren de Jong, director of development for Boys and Girls.
The 90 members of Chi Psi immediately stepped in. Setting up a table in the Reamer Campus Center, the fraternity hustled throughout the month to sign people up. Jake LaRovera ’15, a marketing intern at Boys and Girls, also provided major assistance.
By the time the deadline passed, the tally for the Boys and Girls Clubs reached 362, qualifying them for the $20,000 grant.
“Once Union got involved, boom, things just took off,” said Shane Bargy, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady. The organization was presented with a check at a local Rite Aid Thursday.
“We would never have gotten that many designations without their help,” he said. “Before they got involved, we were probably going to qualify for only $5,000 to $7,500, based on our designations. They pushed us all the way to the $20,000.”
Like other Greek organizations at Union, Chi Psi is involved in numerous community projects throughout the year. Nolan Lescalleet ’17, the fraternity’s president, said it was gratifying to be able to help.
“We especially enjoyed this because it’s going to help with programs for children,” he said.
“Working with the college students on this was an incredible experience and truly illustrates the power, excellent work ethic and heart of the student body at Union,” said de Jong.
The grant will support programs that promote the social, educational, health, leadership and character development of boys and girls in Schenectady.