By ANIKA SETHY
Robert Faugno — president of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Syracuse University — will run 54 miles to Cornell from Syracuse next month to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps children with life-threatening illnesses.
Faugno, a senior at Syracuse, said he is running in honor of the 18th birthday of his sister, who suffered from a brain tumor and is a former “Wish Kid,” someone who was helped by the organization. He said he has been working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for a few years and was inspired by the determination of those in the program.
Faugno said his run will symbolize the “impossible journey” of kids that are part of the program.
“I met some Cornell Pikes at one of our National conferences, and we talked about working together in the future because our chapters were so close,” Faugno said. “And one day I just came up with this idea of running [to Cornell].”
Cornell’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter wanted to give Faugno their full support after he explained his cause, according to Daniel Rosenthal ’15, public relations chair for Cornell’s Pi Kappa Alpha — also known as “Pike.”
“As soon as we heard about what he was planning on doing and his reasons behind it, we knew we had to put our full effort towards supporting our brothers and such a wonderful cause,” Rosenthal said.
Upon arriving in Ithaca, Cornell’s Pike and Kappa Delta sorority, which are co-sponsoring the fundraiser, will welcome Faugno, according to Rosenthal. He said fundraising events on that day will consist of a cupcake sale with members of Faugno’s family — who are also the cast of the television show Cake Boss — on Ho Plaza.
In addition, Pike and Kappa Delta will sponsor a 5K run at the Cornell Plantations on April 12 and half of the proceeds will go to Kappa Delta’s national philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America, according to Michelle Kim ’16, vice president of community service for Kappa Delta.
Faugno said the goal of the fundraiser is to raise at least $50,000 to fundraise about eight wishes. Fulfilling the average wish for the foundation costs approximately $6,000, he said.
“We have set the bar very high with a goal of raising $50,000 dollars. Our hope is to come as close as possible to reach this goal,” Faugno said.
Kim said Cornell Kappa Delta’s collaboration with the Syracuse chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha demonstrates the strength of the Greek community.
“Kappa Delta will not only be working with Cornell’s chapter of Pike but also the chapter at Syracuse,” Kim said. “The Greek system is a very tight-knit community that defies the borders of just our Cornell community.”