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Beta Pi Pikes Lead IFC Philanthropy Beta Pi Pikes Lead IFC Philanthropy
Marcus Nowlan (Beta Pi '18) Kaden Stenger (Beta Pi '19)

by Kaden Stenger

With stay-at-home orders, undergraduates being sent home, and medical workers overwhelmed with patients, Penn Greek life knew it had to act. One of our very own undergraduates, Marcus Nowlan (Beta Pi ’18), made it possible. The Penn Engineering rising senior and past External VP created the “Feed the Front Lines” fundraiser as Vice President of Philanthropy for Penn’s Interfraternity Council (IFC). It was organized so that every $9 donated would secure a meal delivery to an essential Penn health care employee working on the front lines of COVID-19. As a university-wide initiative, the overall goal was set at $1,800 for a total of 200 meals.

Once the fundraiser began on May 1, the current Internal VP Kaden Stenger (Beta Pi ’19) reached out to chapter alumni for support. The response he got was unprecedented. Within a span of only five days after the fundraiser began, undergraduates, alumni, and friends of the chapter, had contributed over $1,500 in donations! The largest of these contributions came from brothers Tom Fogarty (Beta Pi ‘81), Mark Lopatin (Beta Pi ’76), and Eric Morgenstern (Beta Pi ’81) with each donating $200 or more. When the fundraiser closed, $2,388 had been raised in the name of Pi Kappa Alpha in just 10 days. The chapter’s efforts exceeded the original fundraising goal for all of Penn IFC by over $500 and made up 90% of the $2,647 in total donations!

While the monetary donations alone spoke volumes, alumni also shared their testimonies for donating. Eric Morgenstern (Beta Pi ’81) started the conversation saying, “As a physician in NYC who recently spent 2 weeks on the COVID-19 Units at NYU, I am humbled by the generosity and support from the Pike Brotherhood and the IFC at Penn. The outpouring of love and gratitude I felt from complete strangers in NYC by the simple act of providing a meal when we did not have the time or energy to get one on our own was palpable.” Michael Selikoff (Beta Pi ’75) spoke about his daughter Lauren’s experience as an NYU nurse practitioner: “she (and other front line workers)… would start their hospital shift each day, knowing that they were entering a frenetic and often overwhelming situation, bravely administering to their Covid-19 patients, many of whom were fighting for every breath.”

Thanks to the incentive of Marcus Nowlan and the support of the Beta Pi chapter, over 250 meals were provided to those who most needed them. The “Feed the Front Lines” donations captured our promise of, “once a Pike, always a Pike,” and our preamble’s dedication, “for the mutual benefit and advancement of the interests of those with whom we sympathize and deem worthy of our regard,”. In the spirit of φφκα, we exceeded expectations once again through our support against COVID-19.