My name is Harry Clark. I have been elected Venerable Dean of the Acacia Fraternity at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for the 2011 year. Since my initiation on April 4, 2008, I have watched our chapter go through its ups and downs. We have accumulated about $10,000 in debt, and are currently working to dig ourselves out of this proverbial hole that we’re in. But throughout this trouble, our chapter has still remained a tight brotherhood and our traditions have remained the same since our start in 1973. This article will discuss upcoming events, along with recruitment and some of my goals to alleviate our debts.
Since beginning my term as Venerable Dean, I have been ready and prepared to elevate our chapter to the level of prominence it has achieved in past years. Over a year and a half ago, Acacia at Pitt-Johnstown sponsored a concert by Wiz Khalifa, one of the upcoming hip-hop artists of the time. The concert took place at Ace’s Lounge in Johnstown. Through our efforts, the concert profited us around $7000, leaving our debt to Acacia National just under $3000. This motivated me to continue fundraising, with the ultimate goal of leaving us with zero debt. With the help of the chapter Quartermaster, we initiated a “Walking Taco” fundraiser, which is currently being done once a week. We have tried it twice and profited over $50.00 each time. We are building up a reputation with the campus community, which could eventually lead us to bring in one hundred plus dollars each week. This is not the only fundraiser that we are pursuing either. Starting within the next few weeks, we will be selling sports jersey in order to bring in more money. All of our brothers are putting forth a great effort to raise money and make a difference for the future of Acacia.
This semester brings us four potential new members. Unfortunately recruitment numbers are low for all Greeks on the Pitt-Johnstown campus this year. In past years, we were accustomed to pledging between nine and thirteen potentials each spring. This has also motivated us to change our recruitment practices and try something new and innovative. Next semester we will be having interest parties, inviting young potentials down during sports games in order to show them what Acacia can offer.
As you all know, Acacia’s motto is Human Service and the chapter is proudly living up to it! At the end of March, Acacia will be a sponsor for the “March of Dimes”. This fundraiser benefits children suffering with cancer. All of the proceeds go directly toward research for childhood cancer. This has been a success in the past bringing in $500.00 or more. The event is scheduled to take place on a Saturday at the end of March. Please contact the chapter for final dates and plans. Along with this fundraiser, Acacia works with the American Red Cross to host two or more blood drives each semester. Our most recent blood drive brought in over forty pints of blood. For our next blood drive, taking place on April 7, 2011, we are hoping to reach out to more than just the student body. We will be posting flyers in businesses all over Johnstown with hopes to bring in our largest donation ever!
In addition to our daily operations and activities, we are in involved in campus intramurals to promote the Acacia name. We are currently competing in intramural basketball and having a great time! I am also proud to announce that Acacia had the highest cumulative grade-point average out of any fraternity on campus for the fall 2010 semester.
With these goals and accomplishments in mind, we hope that you as alumni would like to once again become more involved with Acacia. We would like for you to witness first hand the great things that Acacia at Pitt-Johnstown has to offer!
Although finances are a priority, there are other items that the chapter could use too. Currently, we are looking for financial donations for a new chapter vacuum to keep the house clean, funds directly applied for supplies for our “Walking Taco” fundraising efforts and a new sound system for the house, including new speakers and receiver to replace the old set. Any funds donated can also be earmarked to help pay down our debt. Any donation is greatly appreciated. Finally, initiation will take place the weekend of April 8, 2011. Please mark your calendars now to join us and help welcome these new men into the Acacia brotherhood.
For further information about the initiation weekend or if you would like to help the chapter with a donation, please contact me at email@example.com or call at (610) 350-7618. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Harry R. Clark #477