Phi Delta Theta sets Phi-K goal


Lou Gehrig was a member of Phi Delta Theta in the early 1920s, but his memory lives on in the fraternity years later.

Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1939 after his health began to deteriorate. He died within two years.

Phi Delta Theta adopted ALS as its international philanthropy because of Gehrig and each year chapters around the country raise thousands of dollars to help fund research.

The USI chapter of Phi Delta Theta is doing their part to raise money by holding a Phi-K (5k) walk/run August 27.

Zachary Floyd, the coordinator of the event, said during the recruitment process the history of Phi Delta Theta is explained, along with their connection to Gehrig.

The sophomore said they have set a $10,000 goal for the race and so far there have been over 50 sign ups.

“I feel like a lot of people will sign up after we get back to school and race day,” he said. “I’m hoping to have over 100 people.”

All of his fraternity brothers are excited and will be involved in the event in some way, he said.

Some of the brothers are currently working toward their Iron Phi.

To earn the Iron Phi, a member of the fraternity must choose an athletic event, raise $1,000 through the national Iron Phi organization and then complete the event.

“Everyone thinks of frat as just like this stereotype, but in reality we are helping end a super bad disease,” Floyd said.

Kara Hall, the development director for the ALS Association Indiana Chapter, said events like the Phi-K all make an impact on research and the fight against ALS.

In the past two years, four new genes have been discovered which will help identify new therapies.

One of those genes was NEK1. It is found in both familial and sporadic ALS. The discovery of the gene is expected to help aid in the discovery of new drug treatments.

“It’s crazy to think that we put all that money into ALS and it’s directly factoring into them finding the gene,” Floyd said.

Hall said ALS is a devastating disease and in the past there hasn’t been much hope for patients and families, so every breakthrough helps people with awareness.

To sign up for the Phi-K racers should visit There is also a Facebook event listed as Phi-K Run/Walk.