By Jessica Keesee
The University of Tampa Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter is following in former TKE Ronald Reagan’s footsteps to help host Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday (Sept. 29) at 8 a.m.
The walk, the largest nationwide fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research and awareness, is held annually across the country by the Alzheimer’s Association, an official TKE philanthropy.
The event will take place at Curtis Hixon Park, within walking distance from campus, and is similar to Relay for Life, a fundraising walk to help combat cancer. The Alzheimer’s Association’s national goal is to raise $140,000.
Zachary Iacovino, vice president of the UT chapter, said TKE will be a lot more involved in this year’s event.
“Every year we help them with it,” said Iacovino, a junior. “This year we’re much more involved. We have more guys so that allows us to be more involved so we’re helping them run the event actually.” TKE has approximately 35 members this year.
During the walk on Saturday, TKE will help teams of walkers register for the event, tallying how much money is made, tracking volunteer hours and organizing the events of the day.
“Overall [we are] just ensuring that the event is successful,” Iacovino said.
The national TKE teamed up with the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Institute, founded in 1995 after the former president made the announcement that he had Alzheimer’s, and adopted the Alzheimer’s Association as an official philanthropy in 2001.
“Ronald Reagan was a TKE so we have an allegiance to that organization and TKE tries to raise money to support it,” Iacovino said.
The walk also holds personal importance to Iacovino: “I have an aunt who passed away due to Alzheimer’s and my grandmother currently has it, so the organization and walk have special meaning to me.”
TKE will also be participating in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk in Tampa on Nov. 17, a fundraiser for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, another TKE philanthropy.