Nearly 100,000 dimes will cover the floor of the Knapp Center on April 17, as part of business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi’s community service project.
The event, called the Mile of Dimes, asks participants to bring their spare dimes to the Knapp Center and lay the change end to end on the March of Dimes logo, which will be tapped on the floor of the basketball court. The winding logo will be blown up and stretched out, using a mile’s worth of tape.
“We wanted to do something that would become Delta Sigma Pi’s signature event, something the campus would know us for,” Delta Sigma Pi Vice President of Community Service Amanda Otten said. “This popped up and we just went for it.”
March of Dimes is a national health charity organization originally founded in 1938 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The original organization was dubbed the Foundation for Infantile Paralysis until its name change in 1979. Its original mission was to rid the world of polio–a disease Roosevelt had. Having accomplished the first objective, the organization turned its sights on improving the health of babies by working to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
If accomplished, the event would raise just over $9,000 for the March of Dimes Foundation in Iowa.
The event was originally set in motion by Delta Sigma Pi former vice president of community service, Megan Kunz, who had been working with the March of Dimes Foundation for other community service projects throughout the year. The idea for the Mile of Dimes was proposed last year, but it’s taken a lot of work to get the logistics of the event hammered out.
“We had to try and figure out where we were going to hold it, how it was going to be set up and how it was going to run,” Otten said.
The event will be run by Delta Sigma Pi members as part of their four required hours of community service per semester.
“As a business fraternity, we have requirements just like any other social fraternity or sorority, so we have to do a set number of community service hours per semester,” Otten said. “We’re trying to build character and moral in people, as well as show them there is more outside of just professionalism, because giving back to the community is very important.”
Delta Sigma Pi President Lindsey Thome is excited to get members involved in the cause.
“It’s important for members of Delta Sig to do community service because it’s always good to give back,” Thome said. “I’m sure other Delta Sigs wouldn’t mind me speaking for them when I say we are all so lucky to have found a home at Drake and especially in Delta Sig. It’s important we don’t forget that others aren’t as lucky.”
While the main attraction is the Mile of Dimes, Otten said there will be plenty of other things to keep participants occupied while they wait. Otten said there will be plenty of free food, carnival games and raffle prizes for participants to enjoy, all of which will be on the track, providing participants with an aerial view of the design and the dimes.
Otten is currently working to get a couple inflatable games and gift card raffle prizes from local area businesses such as Kum & Go, Jimmy John’s, Jethro’s BBQ, Drake Diner and several businesses from the Jordan Creek area.
“The first thing we actually received was a gift card from Sweet Binney’s Bakery in Des Moines,” Otten said. “The owner was actually a former Delta Sig and was gracious enough to donate.”
One of the concerns from the Knapp Center staff was how the tape design would affect the integrity of the finishing on the floor of the basketball court, which will continue to be played on by both the men’s and women’s teams throughout the remainder of the semester.
“To prevent any damage to the floor, we’ll be using a low-tack tape so that when the design is pulled after the event, the finish won’t also be pulled up,” said Associate Director of Recreational Services Michael Ball.
The fraternity is also working on a lot of public relations in an effort to draw in more attention to the event.
“We’re trying to get the community involved,” Otten said. “Not just Drake but all of Des Moines.”