Sigma Pi runs 5K against suicide

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Wisconsinites between the ages of 15-34. An average of 11.6 in 100,000 of people aged 15-24 commit suicide annually. For each suicide committed, an estimated 25 people attempt to commit suicide.

These statistics and others from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention was presented to participants in the Suicide Awareness 5K Event hosted by University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity on April 16.

The event raised $1,046 in donations for AFSP. This donation includes the $300 of registration fees from the 30 runners that participated in the event.

“We started collecting donations and fundraising a couple weeks before the race,” Sigma Pi vice president and sophomore electrical engineering major Nick Bell said. “On the day of the race a lot of people donated a lot of money more than the $10 entry fee.”

This race was part of a larger movement that all chapters of Sigma Pi Fraternity take part in.

“Nationally, our Sigma Pi Fraternity takes part in suicide awareness and prevention,” Sigma Pi philanthropy chair and sophomore biology major Kyle Dwyer said. “That’s also why we had Donate Life there and handed out a bunch of stuff from Donate Life for organ donation.”

Donate Life is an organization that works to raise awareness for organ donations and encourages people to become organ donors.

Runners said they were grateful for the support that members of Sigma Pi showed towards participants during the race.

“The Sigma Pi brothers were very supportive while you were running,” freshman elementary education major Harley Baty said. “They set up tables along the course and gave you water and encouraged you the whole time. They were really supportive and [the event] was really well setup and organized.”

Sophomore mechanical engineering major Derek Sundin said that he would like to participate again in future events.

“It was a lot of fun and the money goes to such a great cause,” Sundin said. “I would definitely recommend [participating in the event] to everybody.”

The event was attended not only by current UW-Platteville students, but also by alumni. Ryan Tredinnick, a former finance major and Sigma Pi member who graduated last May, returned to campus to participate.

“I think it’s a very important cause because suicide is one of the leading causes of death for college-aged people,” Tredinnick said. “I think it’s an important cause to support.”

Dwyer and Bell said that they appreciated the involvement of other fraternities and sororities in the event, as well as the businesses that helped with the event by participating and contributing equipment and money.

“Interconnected Automation donated money to pay for the shirts and things like that,” Bell said. “Race Day Events donated the speakers and the use of the blowups for the finish line.”

Members of the Sigma Pi fraternity plan to hold a similar event in the future.

“We’re hoping to be back next year with even bigger and better,” Dwyer said.

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