During the Fall of 2021, The Pi chapter raised $78,554 for men’s health Issues through the Movember Foundation, making them one of the most successful teams in the world. The Movember Foundation supports various men’s health causes, ranging from mental health and suicide prevention to prostate cancer awareness.
Michael Dellon, Pi ’17, started a Movember team in the Pi chapter as an undergrad and has helped the effort grow in the years since, with the amount raised increasing from $7,000 the first year to $29,000 in 2019.
It was that sustained effort to grow the program and make such a charitable impact in support of the Movember Foundation in the fall of 2020 that the chapter received the Award of Distinction at the 177th Convention for the $48,000 the Pi chapter raised during the fall of 2020.
Michael started the chapter’s involvement with the Movember Foundation his Sophomore year (2014). He writes, “we had a small Movember team of around 5-7 active brothers. By 2015, we had grown the team substantially. From 2014-2016, the team was totally comprised of active brothers. That being said, once I graduated in 2017, I decided to make a team that was not just limited to active members. At that point, I started to call on Pi alumni and friends outside the house to join the team. This is really when we started seeing the impressive fundraising numbers. Today, our team is comprised of active brothers, alumni, and some of our friends. We now have about 70 people on the team, with well over half being Pi affiliated.”
Michael’s passion for Movember came from his own struggle with testicular cancer. He writes, “My battle with cancer put me out of commission for a full year between 2012 and 2013 and was actually the reason I transferred to Syracuse, as being in NY allowed me to be closer to my doctors and family. Unfortunately, in 2016 I lost my cousin to mental health issues, and in 2018, the Pi lost a brother to suicide. We were all devastated by this. After losses like these, we decided to dive deep into preventing male suicide and made that a pillar of our fundraising.”
These somber events have led to the chapter making great contributions
to issues of men’s health awareness in a short time. We asked Michael how, and his answers suggest how other chapters can start or amplify their involvement with philanthropic organizations.
“When we first started, we had around 7 team members raising a few thousand dollars. By the time I left Syracuse, we had around 25 active members and I believe we raised $7k or so. Once we opened up the team to alumni and friends, we started to see our numbers shoot up. in 2018, we raised about $16K, 2019 was just short of $24k, and this year, the $48k you saw.”
“This year was a total team effort, but we were able to hit such high numbers due to a lot of story sharing. It is difficult to talk about a lot of reasons why Movember is important to us, but this year, the team really went all out in sharing stories of why this cause is so important. Also, as we become more and more knowledgeable about fundraising, we are finding new and unique ways to raise money and awareness.
Learn more about their efforts on their Movember Team page