STORY BY ANNA ZAVELL
Since 1964, professional pharmacy fraternity Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) has supported Project HOPE, an organization that provides health training, education and medical supplies to countries that may not have it otherwise.
LKS has adopted Project HOPE as their national philanthropy and has donated $162,000 to the organization between 1971 and 2014 and continues to help provide care for more than 35 countries.
Lambda Kappa Sigma first appeared on Drake’s campus in the 1980s but folded shortly after. In 2006, LKS was reestablished and has been growing ever since.
“LKS was originally created to promote pharmacy among women,” President and P2 Trisha Benjamin said. “We do invite men to join, but it just hasn’t happened at Drake yet. I guess we can be a little intimidating,” she said jokingly.
HOPE stands for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere and was founded in 1958 by a doctor who served on a ship during WWII and was moved by the lack of medical knowledge in the South Pacific where he was stationed.
This man’s name was William B. Walsh and he persuaded President Eisenhower to donate a U.S. Navy hospital ship. This ship has since become known as the SS HOPE and served as the face of Project HOPE.
“HOPE waLKS started here at Drake in 2010 as a way of raising money for Project HOPE,” said LKS sophomore co-philanthropy chair Amanda Hoerres.
Since then, HOPE waLKS has spread to other chapters and has been adopted nationally by Lambda Kappa Sigma.
This year marks the sixth annual HOPE waLKS and will take place at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines on Saturday, May 2 beginning at 8 a.m.
“We have been putting this event together for a year now and I can’t wait to see it all come together,” P3 co-philanthropy chair Stacy Reid said. “I hope we have good weather!”
“We have been at Raccoon River Park for two years now and it’s becoming more of a set thing,” Hoerres said. “We are working on making it more consistent for the coming years.”
The HOPE waLKs run/walk 5K kicks off with a bagel breakfast and a raffle at the end.
Participants can receive raffle tickets when they register, which is $30 per person, and this years t-shirt. Prizes include gift cards or coupons to Fuddruckers, Smokey Row, Buffalo Wild
Wings and other local companies that have donated to support LKS and Project HOPE.
“I love the bagel breakfast,” Benjamin said. “But I really love seeing people from all over come together outside of the classroom and do something fun and for a good cause. It’s a great way to get away from school things for a little while.”