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Phi Delts of DePauw, Wabash to relay Monon game ball for ALS charity

Monday, November 11, 2013

Members of DePauw University and Wabash College Phi Delta Theta chapters will present the game ball to officials prior to the start of Saturday's 120th Monon Bell football game.

The ball will be relayed on foot and bicycle between the two campuses this Friday in advance of the classic.

"The idea is to raise both awareness and funds for our International fraternity charity the ALS Association," DePauw chapter President Jake Rust said. "In addition, it help sets a tone for the respect we have for the event and the competition."

ALS -- commonly known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" -- is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS.

The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting this disease on every level.

As "Iron Man" Lou Gehrig was a member of Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity has adopted ALS as its international charity.

The Monon Bell football game, first held in 1890, is staged annually between Wabash and DePauw -- two stalwarts of NCAA Division III athletics and both highly regarded national liberal arts colleges. The trophy is an old locomotive bell donated by the Monon Railroad Line that once had service between the two cities.

Wabash Phi Delts will take the ball halfway between Crawfordsville and Greencastle. Then, senior Ryan Heeb will head a team of DePauw Phis who'll bring it the rest of the way on foot and bike.

After the game, the ball will be presented to the winner of a raffle held earlier in the week at an alumni dinner.

"We are committed to making this an annual event" shared chapter adviser CJ Johnston, Class of 1983. "This year, we'll present about $3,000 to ALS. Next year we are planning to involve more alumni in the relay and have a target of $10,000."

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