AEPi Rock-A-Thon raises more than $80,000

The event expanded to include a benefit concert this year.
Alpha Epsilon Pi's senior class celebrates during its Rock-A-Thon event Saturday on Broadway. The event raised more than $80,000, making it the top Greek Life philanthropy in the country. Courtesy of Ben Stein

Alpha Epsilon Pi raised a total of $80,378.09 at its biannual Rock-A-Thon, making the fraternity the top Greek Life philanthropy in the United States.

According to the Rock-A-Thon news release, the event is a philanthropic effort coordinated by the men of Alpha Epsilon Pi benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“Basically a brother from the fraternity sits in a rocking chair on a stage in the corner of Ninth and Broadway for 63 straight hours, while volunteers and members of the frat solicit donations around the states of Missouri by canning on street corners and in front of grocery stores,” Rock-A-Thon event planner Lee Zucker said.

According to the release, fraternity members solicited donations during the event by canning, or collecting money in cans, in Kansas City and St. Louis for the first time in the event’s history.

“I’ve been planning this event for over a year,” Zucker said. “We have about 15 sponsors, and it takes a lot of time to get those sponsors. Every place that we can has to be approved by the business that we are canning in front of or by the city of Columbia. Getting the proper licenses and getting canning approval takes a really long time and a lot of manpower.”

Zucker said a benefit concert was also new to the Rock-A-Thon this year.

“This year we did a benefit concert to kick off the event," he said. "It was the first benefit concert that happened on Wednesday. We raised money through ticket sales for that, and then we had the actual 63-hour event on Ninth Street and Broadway.”

This year, MU senior and Alpha Epsilon Pi member Lenny Goldman was the event’s sole rocker.

According to the release, the rocker is required to sit in a rocking chair for 63 consecutive hours while volunteers solicit support and donations.

In order to become the event rocker for the fraternity, there is an election. A total of five fraternity members ran for rocker, Goldman said.

“It was an amazing experience,” Goldman said. “It was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”

Goldman said he was happy to represent his fraternity in promoting a good cause, but the amount of money raised made the event worth it.

“It was the best feeling when I found out we raised that much money, to see everyone come together and work so hard is out of the normal for a group of fraternity guys,” he said. “It just shows what amazing work a group of motivated guys can do.”

Zucker also agreed the money the event raised was a direct result of hard work and a generous community.

“$80,000 doesn’t just appear just because we have 100 guys in our fraternity,” he said. “$80,000 appears because the generous people all around this community donated their money for this great cause.”

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