If the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau looked a little more unshaven than usual this past November, it wasn’t because they were trying to save time during their morning routines — they were raising money for cancer research.
For the second year in a row, the fraternity participated in No-Shave November, a national fundraiser that encourages participants to let their facial hair grow out for the month and donate whatever they would have spent on grooming to the nonprofit, which then distributes it amongst the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This year, the brothers raised $13,736, exceeding their $12,000 goal and far exceeding last year’s total of $10,548. Donations came both from the brothers themselves — the chapter had a more than 80 percent participation rate this year — as well as from friends, family and alumni via fundraising pages set up through the nonprofit’s website.
Wharton sophomore and ZBT philanthropy chair Jake Franz attributed the success of the fundraiser to the personal nature of the cause.
“Pretty much everyone in the fraternity has a family member or friend that has been impacted by cancer, so it’s a good cause that everyone can get behind,” he said.
Wharton sophomore Max Slosburg, also a philanthropy chair, said the fundraiser “really helped as a conversation starter.”
"[It’s] really fun to be involved in,” he said. “A lot of people who participated in it actually liked growing facial hair, and had bad facial hair,” which he says “really helped as a conversation starter.”
Franz added that meeting their philanthropy goal helped unite the fraternity brothers.
“We had this goal of twelve thousand dollars, which seemed really unattainable at times, honestly, and then we just collectively worked together towards it,” he said.
ZBT Vice President and College junior Jacob Pardo echoed this sentiment.
“At a place like Penn, we all have so much going on, and it’s not always easy to be a really unified chapter,” he said. “But when you come together over something greater than yourself, it can have a really nice effect.”
The brothers attributed their involvement with cancer-specific charities to the enthusiasm of several recent ZBT graduates, namely former president and 2016 College graduate Perry Goffner.
They added that they hope to continue this focus by making No-Shave November an annual philanthropy event. Slosburg said he was interested in getting other campus groups involved, and is working toward involvement in the B+ (Be Positive) Foundation, which focuses on childhood cancers.
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