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Sigma Pi Pumps Iron to Support Mental Health Organizations

On Saturday, Sept. 25, eight brothers from Delta-Beta Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity at Monmouth University hosted and competed in a lift-a-thon to raise money in support of mental health organizations in the Monmouth County area. The organizations that will receive a portion of the funds raised by the lift-a-thon include the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, Monmouth University’s Counseling and Psychological Services department, and Sigma Pi University’s Bonds of Brotherhood program.

The idea for the lift-a-thon came together during the summer as undergraduates Nick Zapata and Devin Barros were brainstorming ideas to launch the chapter’s programming for the fall semester. They wanted to find a way to get their brothers together while doing something that they enjoy, but also while supporting mental health organizations that provide such critical services to college students. Sigma Pi Fraternity’s chapters across the country regularly engage in events and fundraising to support causes that focus on mental health programming including letting students know about resources that exist for college students to address mental health issues.

“After a difficult year and a half for everyone, I’m proud of Delta-Beta Chapter for hosting this event. Their efforts shine a spotlight on some wonderful mental health organizations in Monmouth County,” said Joe Palazzolo, Ed.D., an instructor in the Leon Hess Business School. Palazzolo, who is also a Monmouth alumnus from the Class of 2003, is currently in his second term as Sigma Pi Fraternity’s international president.

The event was structured in three weight classes. The winners of each weight class were Davon Downer (under 170 pound weight class), Travis Kowalskie (171 – 189 pound weight class), and Nick Zapata (190 and above weight class). In addition, Kowalskie raised the most money with more than $1,000 raised, and Zapata was the overall winner with a total of 1,275 pounds lifted between his squat, bench press, and deadlift. “I think the event was a great success and we are confident it will continue to grow into something bigger and more charitable every year,” said Zapata.

Th lift-a-thon was hosted at Rock Sports Club in Tinton Falls and it was the first time that the chapter organized this event. More information about the event is available online.