Fraternity Member Spends 63 Hours in Rocking Chair for Charity

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COLUMBIA - The nation's largest fraternal philanthropy kicked off in Columbia on Thursday.

Rock-A-Thon, organized by the MU chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, raises money every other year for the mid-Missouri chapter of the American Cancer Society. The fraternity elected Brendan Lyss to sit for 63 continuous hours in a rocking chair at the intersection of Broadway and Ninth Street. During that time, fraternity members will travel throughout mid-Missouri collecting donations. After 63 hours, the fundraising chairs will announce the final amount of money raised as Lyss stands for the first time since the start of Rock-A-Thon.

In 2011, the chapter broke records when it raised $80,000. This year, it aims to surpass that amount.

Lyss said he decided to rock in honor of his father and brother, both cancer survivors.

"Cancer's something that hits very close to home," Lyss said. "It was important to represent them and represent my fraternity."

Alex Silverman, one of the chairs for the event, explained the idea behind Rock-A-Thon's slogan, "Who do you rock for?"

"The idea behind 'Who do you rock for?' is basically that we're all affected by cancer, so we all have those connections," Silverman said. "I'm personally rocking for my grandma, but also for all of the relatives of my brothers here."

Rock-A-Thon already began fundraising, with new events such as a golf tournament hosted last week in St. Louis, as well as more programming with the rest of the Greek community at MU.

"We've seen a great deal of support so far," Silverman said. "We're excited to have people on the ground here finally in Columbia."

To learn more about Rock-A-Thon, or to make a donation, click here.