WMU News

ATO camp out raises more than $11,000 for Habitat

Jan. 21, 2004

KALAMAZOO--For the second year in a row, members of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Western Michigan University braved 48 hours of Michigan winter weather and, in the process, raised more than $11,000 for Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity.

This year's goal was $10,000. Contributions are still being tallied, and the amount donated online through Habitat International's Web site won't be known for several more weeks, but so far, a total of $11,171 has been attributed to this year's ATO Campus Camp Out. That's more than double the $4,485 raised in the fraternity's first camp out in January 2003.

ATO plans to continue the Campus Camp Out as an annual event for Habitat. "In fact, we've already set a goal of raising $20,000 next year," says Justin DeGraaf, chapter public relations chair.

Beginning Jan. 6, at noon and continuing for 48 hours, members of the fraternity camped out at the flag poles near the Lee Honors College at the center of the WMU main campus. Following a week of near-record high temperatures at the end of December, a cold front moved through Kalamazoo, just in time for the frigid fund raiser. Temperatures were below freezing throughout the camp out, with overnight lows near zero and heavy snow squalls.

About 50 people attended a reception in the Bernhard Center at the conclusion of the fund raiser Jan. 8, including representatives from Alpha Tau Omega's national organization, WMU officials and
staff and directors from Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity. ATO members made a symbolic presentation to Habitat representatives of a novelty check for more than $10,600, the amount raised and counted at that time.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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