The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity reached out to the Ithaca community by taking children from the Greater Ithaca Activity Center (GIAC) bowling on Saturday.
The fraternity paid out of its own budget for the bowling and a pizza lunch at Ides Bowling Center for 22 children.
“This is an opportunity for kids from GIAC to interact with people that they ordinarily would not and an opportunity for the brothers to interact with the younger generation,” said Addison Sollog ’02, a member of the fraternity and one of the coordinators of the event.
According to Sollog, ATO has sponsored a joint program with GIAC for the past four years, but this is the first time they have had a bowling event.
In the past, the brothers have taken the children to Cornell football games. The fraternity has always done all the planning and coordination with GIAC, and only relied on GIAC program coordinators for distributing and collecting permission slips.
Several brothers in the fraternity stressed that they enjoy working with the children at GIAC because they have been able to get to know the kids and watch them grow up each year.
“We have been able to build relationships with the kids and get to know them fairly well. It is a very rewarding experience to be able to affect their lives in such a positive way,” said Jesse Rothstein ’03, a member of the fraternity.
Members of the Ithaca community, including several children from GIAC, also expressed support of the fraternity’s efforts to interact more with children.
“I have never met these guys before, but they are a lot of fun and I hope they come down to see us again real soon,” said one of the children from GIAC at the event.
“It gives the kids an opportunity to meet college students. The kids really enjoy it and get a lot out of the interaction,” said Laleh Archer, program coordinator for GIAC.
Archer said she wishes that the success of this activity will encourage more Cornell student organizations to volunteer with the children at GIAC. She also mentioned that more than 60 children expressed interest in participating in this event, but the event planners only organized for about 20.
“I think both students and the children benefit immensely,” Archer said. “Even if students come down to our building for just a few hours and work with the kids it would be a great experience for both.”
Archived article by Seth Harris