5 chapters gather to help neighbor battling ALS

    By Paul Burton, CBS Boston (WSBK 4)

    STERLING (CBS) – While most college students are relaxing on the weekend, a group of students from the fraternity Phi Delta Theta are clearing a way for a family in need in Sterling.

    “Just giving back to others. That’s one of the main thing the fraternity does,” fraternity brother Michael Bray said.

    On Saturday, 17 students from five different New England chapters came together to shovel out the driveway and backyard for Peter Monchamp, who is battling ALS.

    “This is a big help, yeah, to be able to get this,” Monchamp said.

    The 63-year-old was diagnosed with ALS a year ago and has recently lost his ability to walk.

    “Community service is a fantastic way to not only keep in touch with our brothers and our close friends in college, but also, again, we’re just helping other people that are really in need during [the coronavirus pandemic].” said Dennis Wei, a junior at Northeastern University.

    Clearing all this snow out is just phase one of this project. With the help of the ALS foundation and Amp Ramp, the family is installing a handicap ramp on Monday.

    “Right now, I can’t get out of the house. I can’t go up or down the stairs or anything, so the ramp is critical for me to go out to doctors’ appointments,” Monchamp said.

    Nationally, the fraternity has come under fire over the past several years and has had a number of violations and suspensions. This is one of the ways they are trying to change the culture.

    “Phi Delta Theta has really come around on giving back to the communities, but also just showing this is the right thing to do,” Providence President of New England Phi Delta Steve Lyons said. “It’s not all about partying. It’s all about giving back. Service before self.”