The corner of De Maisonneuve and MacKay will become home to the brothers of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity for 36 hours next week. The brothers will be camping out in boxes and panhandling to raise money during their annual Teke-in-a-Box charity event, to support the Action Centre, a day centre for physically handicapped people.
TKE is part of a larger international fraternity deemed to be the largest one in the world. One of the major functions of the organization is charitable fundraising. “We stand for three principles, we stand for love charity and esteem,” explained Brent Gerchicoff a member of the fraternity. “We are a major fundraising organization; every single chapter has a philanthropic event. Our national philanthropy is actually the Alzheimer’s foundation.”
Last year TKE raised just over $4,200 for the Action Centre. This year, they hope to see that amount increase with the help from local corporate sponsors. “This year to get us kick started we actually have three corporate sponsors,” explained Gerchicoff. “Global [television station] is airing our commercial three times a day and we are also sponsored by Mix96 and CHOM.” CHOM helped start the donation period by giving the fraternity a $2,000 donation.
The Teke-in-a-Box event will be preceded by a comedy night to be held in the Hall Building. It is the second year that the fraternity has used a comedy night as a means of additional fundraising. This year the event will be hosted by Global’s Jamie Orchard and will feature the Comedy Nest’s best and most popular stand-up comics.
Gerchicoff notes that the Teke-in-a-box event has had a great response from students and other fraternities. Students drop by throughout their 36 hour camp-out to donate jars of change and show their support for the cause. The other fraternities at Concordia and McGill are also quick to lend a hand, last year some fraternities and sororities dropped off muffins and warm drinks, others just dropped by for and hour or so in the middle of the night to keep the brothers company. Even the Concordia food services got involved and donated hot chocolate and coffee throughout the night. The administration also helped out by keeping the Hall Building open for the duration of the event for use of the washrooms and to allow participants to warm up.
The Teke-in-a-box event started about fifteen years ago in a bid to raise money for Le Bon Dieu Dans La Rue run by Father Emmett Johns, better known as Pops. They raised money for his organization because he did not receive any government funding. When the organization began receiving government aid, the fraternity decided to back another charitable organization that lacked government funding, and chose the Action Centre as their cause.
The Comedy Night will be held Tuesday, March 25 starting at 7:30 in H-110 of the Hall Building. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the information desk in the Hall Building.
The Teke-in-a-Box event will kick off Wednesday, March 26 at 8 a.m. and will continue until Thursday, March 27 at 5 p.m. Students are encouraged to donate jars of change and any money they can spare.