Troy State#039;s SAE fraternity trade lions for bears

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Those who think college fraternities are just a bunch of guys who like to party are wrong.

Although the Greeks do like to have a good time, most of the young men are have a desire to do their part in making the world a better place.

In so doing, they are involved in philanthropic projects that make a difference in the lives of others. Most of these good deeds go unnoticed by the public, but that's all right with the fraternity brothers. They don't want recognition for what they do. That's not why they do it. They do good deeds because they are good citizens with compassion for others. However, when a several members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at Troy State University came into Edge Regional Medical Center with sacks thrown over their backs, Faye Lunsford, hospital marketing manager, thought they deserved recognition for their kind deed.

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"The fraternity had seen a need and they had worked to meet that need," Lunsford said. "They are to be commended and they also need to be recognized."

The project adopted by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity was to collect and donate teddy bears to the ERMC emergency room. The idea was the brainchild of fraternity member Phillip Henderson who works in the hospital emergency room.

"A lot of children come into ER and most of them are frightened to be there," Henderson said. "They are there because they are sick or have been hurt and it's a scary situation. I thought it would be a good idea if we had a teddy bear or some other stuffed animal to give to them. Having a new friend at the hospital would be comforting and they could take the stuffed animal home as a positive reminder of their visit to the hospital."

Henderson said the bears will also be available for any youngster

in a traumatic situation.

"Sometimes children come in with a parent or other family member who is sick or hurt," he said. "That can be a traumatic experience for them, too."

The Kappa Delta sorority at TSU and students at Troy Elementary School assisted the fraternity with the collection of teddy bears. Together they collected more than 200 stuffed animals.

Henderson said 150 of those bears were donated to the emergency room at ERMC and can also be available for children who are hospitalized.

The 50-plus other bears were donated to the Department of Human Resources for abused and neglected children.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is involved in other projects that benefit the community including designing and building a garden at TES, building a wheelchair ramp for a handicapped person and participating in Pike County's Relay for Life.