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Release: Feb. 23, 2001

Stepping Up Project helps fund fraternity's annual event

IOWA CITY-- The $300 that the University of Iowa chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. is receiving in support of its annual Founders Day Celebration from the Stepping Up Project might seem like a negligible amount, but such funding is beneficial to groups looking to hold alcohol-free events.

The Founders Day Celebration kicks-off with a style show at 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, followed by a dance at Old Brick Church, 26 East Market Street.

Mike Salmon, Kappa Alpha Psi treasurer and senior, says this chapter event is one of several projects the fraternity has sponsored or taken part in that has occurred in part, due to the backing of the Stepping Up Project.

Overall, the Stepping Up Project, which is aimed at curbing binge drinking among college students, has provided $12,516 in funding to more than a dozen groups this year. And, the project has provided more than $35,000 to 54 college and high school student groups since it was created four years ago through funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Kappa Alpha Psi gets a good turnout each year with this and other events. The members have been responsible and easy to work with. Stepping Up has helped fund this event because it lasts late into the night when we need social alternatives to drinking, said Julie Phye, director, Stepping Up Project.

The UI chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. has contributed to the university community in a number of other ways, Salmon says. Among them, the nine-member group has participated in a neighborhood cleanup program, mentored young black men, and currently is helping the local chapter of the national Big Brother program.

Salmon says the Founders Day Celebration is a time where the fraternity invites all of its chapter members back to the university to participate in a weekend's worth of activities to renew friendships and to establish bonds with younger black men.