Unsung Hero feature: SIU Alpha Gamma Rho

    By Evie Allen, WSIL-TV; photo via @agr_siu Instagram

    DU QUOIN (WSIL) — In this edition of Unsung Hero, a Southern Illinois University fraternity has given children in Du Quoin with disabilities a safe place to play.

    In the Fall of 2020, the men of SIU’s Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity built a playset for children of Five Star Industries. Five Star Industries serves individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Perry County.

    “It just means the world to them, and every day that there’s sunlight and it’s warm enough, they are out there,” said Danielle Ridgeway, Five Star Industries Program Director.

    In the Summer of 2020, the children moved to a new home with a spacious backyard but no playground equipment. When fraternity President Jake Indelicato learned of the need for a playset, the group researched the kinds of playsets, started a Go Fund Me account with a goal of $2,000, and installed the playground equipment for the children.

    “It just, it warms your heart because we love our people, and it’s nice to see that other people love our people too,” said Erin Kennedy, Five Star Industries Executive Director.

    Jake said the group exceeded their goal by raising $2,500, which allowed them to purchase more equipment than planned. Every year Alpha Gamma Rho tries to do one philanthropic project, and he hopes their efforts shed a positive light on Greek life.

    “It’s good to {always} show that it’s not just the bad stuff that Greek life gets a name for, we do great things for our areas, and I just wanted to find a way to {really} show it and impact the community.”

    Right now, Jake is a Junior at SIU. He said the partnership with Five Star is one he hopes continues after he graduates and leaves SIU.