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Kent State University's Kappa Sigma fraternity is seeking to put smiles on sick children's faces this holiday season with a teddy bear donation drive service project.
Four days in, the KSU Greek organization had already collected nearly 200 bears. With momentum behind the project, and a partnership with Cleveland's minor league hockey team, the Lake Erie Monsters, the brothers of Kappa Sigma hope to have a few thousand bears to donate by Christmas to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland.
"Just because the holidays are here and Christmas is around the corner doesn't make the kids feel any better, but if we can supply them with a companion to get through this terrible experience that they're going through, then maybe we can change a life," said Luke Marzec, Kappa Sigma's service chair.
The brothers of Kappa Sigma are running the donation drive on behalf of the Hunter's Helping Hands, a charity founded by Mantua residents Brian and Vanessa Varga in memory of their son, Hunter Ray Varga, who died in November 2010 after 10 months of battling a rare heart condition following his premature birth. Hunter's Helping Hand conducts the annual Hunter Ray Varga Memorial Run and spaghetti dinners to raise funds for families with sick infants.
Marzec said Kappa Sigma brothers have reached out to their families, every sorority on campus, radio stations and more to spread the word. In addition to individual donations, the Lake Erie Monsters will donate every bear they receive from the Dec. 21 home game's "Chuck-a-Bear" night, where fans will throw teddy bears onto the ice.
Marzec said teddy bear donations can be dropped off or mailed to the fraternity's house at 1375 W. Campus Center Drive. Marzec is also willing to pick up donations. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-968-9367 for additional information.
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