Theta Chi at California State University Stanislaus put on its 15th annual row-a-thon in honor of John Tooma, who passed away due to an asthma attack. Prior to his death, Tooma has dreams of putting on an event at the reflection pond, where the row-a-thon is located
Theta Chi donates all of the money they raise during the event to (AAFA) The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and in the past to California Breathe to show their support for their brother. The money raised during this event will specifically go to AAFA.
Before donating to AAFA, the fraternity was unsure of where to donate the money raised during the event. Bronil Ghatineh (senior, kinesiology) philanthropy chair of Theta Chi states what the fraternity used to do, “Because of his passing away with an asthma attack, for a couple years, we were donating it to other local charities.”
Since rowing two days ago, Theta Chi has raised $1200.
President of Theta Chi Eric Perez (sophomore/communications) further explains the event and how it brings awareness to AAFA. Perez states, “We go into the reflection pond and we try to row around for 48 hours.” Theta Chi is at the reflection pond from 6am-12am on each day, raising awareness on asthma.
Bronil Ghatineh (senior, kinesiology) philanthropy chair of Theta Chi shared how the brothers of Theta Chi decided to come up with this event based on the vision Tooma had before his passing. “The brothers back then decided to carry on his tradition and went for it, they got permission and started coming out here and we’ve been doing it for about 14-15 years now,” Ghatineh said.
Braden Palma (senior, CJ) shares how this event is meaningful for their fraternity and members of the community.
Palma said, “I think it’s just an all around connection with members of the community, students of the community, a lot of them come and ask about this event and ask what we’re raising money for.”