It was pitch black outside, and the snow was whipping against their faces.
The brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon, TKE, pulled their jackets closer around themselves and started their first trek of the day up Sleeping Giant at 6 am Saturday morning.
No, the brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon were not doing this for fun; they were doing it for charity.
TKE’s second annual Mountain Charity Walk is a philanthropy event that TKE organizes. This year they raised significant amount of money for the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Alzheimer’s Association. Reagan was a former brother of the national fraternity.
The event went from sunrise to sunset and the brothers hike up the mountain as many times as possible, each time raising a little bit more money for their cause.
“I’ve been up four times so far. I’m just grabbing a water and then I’m on my way back up for number five!” Philip Sievring, junior and brother in Tau Kappa Epsilon, said.
The atmosphere was friendly and easy-going.
The brothers who were at the bottom of the mountain kept onlookers entertained and interested by making the event look more like a party than an event that they had to get up at 5 am for.
People brought the boys cupcakes, soda, pizza and cookies for their efforts.
Someone turned the radio on loudly in their parked car to provide some background music, and everyone bundled up in their appropriate TKE sweatshirts and drinking hot coffee in attempts to stay warm.
“Last year, we did this event much earlier in the year so it wasn’t so cold,” Sievring said.
“It’s not so bad once you start walking up, but it’s pretty cold and icy at the top.”
Indeed, TKE’s charitable efforts were felt by other students on campus who also participated in the mountain walk.
Members of Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Chi Omega, also participated in some way, either bringing the boys refreshments or hiking the mountain themselves.
Once groups reached the top of the mountain people signed the TKE banner at the top to prove they had done the walk.
Other students walked the mountain side by side with TKE.
Parents showed up for the event as well to support both the hikers and their cause.
Whether going up the mountain or on their way down, hikers were sure to see some familiar, smiling faces.
According to members, TKE’s mountain walk was a success thanks to brothers and all who participated.