With only an hour and 35 minutes left in their five day long Deep Freeze Against Cancer, members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, better known as the Crows, breathed a collective sigh of relief. With the end near, the below freezing weather became progressively easier to overcome. "There have definitely been colder days," said senior Tom Coleman, a member of the fraternity.
The Crows kicked off their sixth annual Deep Freeze at 8 p.m. on Jan. 28. Officially concluding at 4 p.m. on Feb. 2, the Deep Freeze aimed to raise money for the American Cancer Society. In the final hours of the event, they surpassed their monetary goal of $1500, and were well on their way to raising $2000.
This year, the Crows took their cause to the Geneseo Wal-Mart, where they were able to double what they had raised on campus. Alpha Chi Rho also reported outstanding support from students, faculty and the surrounding community for the Deep Freeze. Rochester's television station, 13 WHAM, came to Sturges Quad to cover the event.
Nightly activities made up another new facet to amplify the fundraising. Monday night began with tree painting, leaving the Greek Tree a festive red. On Wednesday night, Dr. Robert O'Donnell spoke in Newton Hall about cancer research, and Thursday night featured kickball.
While the temperature in Sturges Quad dropped as low as 8 degrees through out the week, it provided visibility for the fundraising. The 23 brothers of the fraternity all took turns working at the table outside of Sturges Hall. Each member took a daily four hour shift, and everyone was required to take one overnight shift, which lasted from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Surviving 12 hours in freezing temperatures required careful attention to layering. Huddled between the newly painted Greek Tree and a sign that measured their progress, sophomore Phil Heiler wore four pairs of pants, while Coleman stuffed himself into five pairs of pants, two pairs of thermal socks, and hand warmers.
Friends showed compassion for both the cause and the brothers. "People bring us warm things because they feel bad for us," said Coleman, referring to the thoughtful cups of hot chocolate brought to them throughout Deep Freeze. The overnighters also roasted hotdogs over a grill, savoring a much-needed warm meal. "One you get the overnight over with, it's smooth sailing," Heiler admitted.