Last month alumni and undergraduates in the The Pi chapter at Syracuse helped raise over $127,000 for men’s health Issues through the Movember Foundation; this ranked them as the 4th highest team in the United States and 8th in the World!
Michael Dellon, Pi ’17, started a Movember team for the Pi chapter as an undergrad in 2014 and the chapter was able to raise a couple thousand dollars. Since then he has captained a team, called Boys Things, which has grown in size and scope. In 2017 the team raised about $7,000; 2018 was $16,000; 2019 was $24,000; 2020 was $48,000 and in 2021 the team raised over $89,000.
Michael shared the following about his team: “we had a small Movember team of around 5-7 active brothers (in 2014). By 2015, we had grown the team substantially. From 2014-2016, the team was totally comprised of active brothers. That being said, once I graduated in 2017, I decided to make a team that was not just limited to active members. At that point, I started to call on Pi alumni and friends outside the house to join the team. This is really when we started seeing the impressive fundraising numbers. Today, our team is comprised of active brothers, alumni, and some of our friends. We now have about 70 people on the team, with well over half being Pi affiliated.”
The Movember Foundation supports various men’s health causes, ranging from mental health and suicide prevention to prostate cancer awareness.
Michael’s passion for Movember came from his own struggle with testicular cancer. He writes, “My battle with cancer put me out of commission for a full year between 2012 and 2013 and was actually the reason I transferred to Syracuse, as being in NY allowed me to be closer to my doctors and family. Unfortunately, in 2016 I lost my cousin to mental health issues, and in 2018, the Pi lost a brother to suicide. We were all devastated by this. After losses like these, we decided to dive deep into preventing male suicide and made that a pillar of our fundraising.”
These somber events have led to the chapter making great contributions to issues of men’s health awareness in a short time. We asked Michael how, and his answers suggest how other chapters can start or amplify their involvement with philanthropic organizations.
“This year was a total team effort, but we were able to hit such high numbers due to a lot of story sharing. It is difficult to talk about a lot of reasons why Movember is important to us, but this year, the team really went all out in sharing stories of why this cause is so important. Also, as we become more and more knowledgeable about fundraising, we are finding new and unique ways to raise money and awareness.”