Pi Kappa Alpha Raffles off Puppy for a Good Cause

This past week outside of the Union, many of you may have noticed an adorable yellow, Labrador retriever. The puppy was part of a fundraiser held by the Zeta Beta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

They were holding a raffle to raise money for a six year old boy from, Aiden Amason, with “stage four desmoplastic small round cell tumors. Amason is from Greenville, Miss., but now lives in Boone, North Carolina.

According to the Treasurer of Pi Pi Kappa Alpha, Connor Taylor, he said the puppy is a pure bred Labrador retriever that is ten weeks old and has had her first round of shots. A member of the fraternity, Andrew Farmer, came up with the idea to raffle the puppy. His Labrador had given birth to the puppies and they had already sold five of the puppies. He then came up with the idea to raffle the dog in order to raise money for a noble cause.

The fraternity spoke with a member of the alumni advisory board that is a practicing attorney in Mississippi, and like many others, could not find any laws prohibiting the raffle. While the raffle was taking place, the golden retriever stayed at Brinkley Henry’s home during the day and at Andrew Farmer’s home during the night. She was well taken care of with many members of the fraternity and of a few sororities stopping by to make sure the puppy was taken care of.

In January of 2016, Amason was diagnosed with stage four desmoplastic small round cell tumors. This is a very rare and aggressive neoplasm that typically affects young adults. It was first described in medical literature in 1989. Since then, only about 200 cases have been diagnosed. Several members of our fraternity, as well as many other students on campus, are close with his family. So we decided that this was a noble cause to raise money for. By the end of the raffle, we had raised $1,543. To date we have donated $2,000 total to the family,” according to member Taylor.

The members that coordinated the raffle mainly consisted of JC Blackmon, Conner Taylor, and Andrew Farmer., and they had  help from Molly Jackson, a relative of the Amason’s, and Brinkley Henry.

They stated that “This was not your typical fundraiser where we were selling tickets to everyone we came in contact with.  We were all selective about who we sold tickets to. We were sure not to sell tickets to anyone that we did not trust to be a good home for her. We asked people interested in buying a ticket if they had owned a dog before, where they planned to keep it, and how they planned on taking care of the dog. If they could not answer these questions, then we recommended that they make a donation as opposed to buy a ticket.”

When it came time for the drawing, they mixed the names around then drew the winner, Courtlyn Harris. Courtlyn planned to give the puppy to her grandparents, who already own two Labradors, as a present. Once a convenient time was reached for both parties, she was given the puppy to give to her grandparents. The fraternity states “We are very confident that her family will make an excellent home for the puppy, which they have named Bella.”