Eating waffles and petting puppies for a cause

Puppies, friends and families joined Phi Sigma Kappa on Sunday to help fundraise for the chapter’s philanthropy.

Erin Shen, Jason Xiao and Holly Parker pet PAWS dog Bailey as Tom Jackson holds his dog Ally outside Phi Sigma Kappa's fundraising event for the Special Olympics on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Easton Green

Erin Shen, Jason Xiao and Holly Parker pet PAWS dog Bailey as Tom Jackson holds his dog Ally outside Phi Sigma Kappa’s fundraising event for the Special Olympics on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Kayla Song

The sweet scent of waffles wafted outside the Phi Sigma Kappa house as fluffy dogs soaked up attention from a small crowd. 

On Sunday, Phi Sigma Kappa hosted its second annual “Woofles for Special Olympics” event. The fraternity hoped to raise enough money to send an athlete to the next Special Olympics. 

Attendees donated $5 to $7 to eat waffles at the dog-friendly fundraiser, and 11 dogs stopped by throughout the four-hour event.

The chapter has focused on Special Olympics philanthropy since the mid 1990s, said Joe Kern, director of communications for Phi Sigma Kappa.

“The purpose and mission of Special Olympics is just so great,” Kern said. “I think it teaches our chapters empathy, working with people with special needs and showing them that they can do all these incredible things like anyone else their age.”

Last year, the fraternity donated around $2,000 with their first Woofles event. This was enough to send an athlete from Minnesota, said Garrett Caddes, President of Phi Sigma Kappa.

This year’s event raised about $700, which was matched by Give to the Max, making the total $1,400, Caddes said. He said the cost to send an athlete to the Special Olympics ranges between $1,000 to $2,000.

Simon Larson, the fraternity’s social chair, came up with the idea and called it “Woofles” last year, Caddes said.

Woofles has proved to be a successful event for the fraternity. Pairing dogs and waffles for their event has attracted a sizable crowd both years, he said.

“I think it’s really great they’re helping out kids … and doing it in a fun way with waffles and dogs,” said sophomore Anna Frazier, member of the Chi Omega sorority. “It’s important to help them out and give them that extra push.”

The fraternity has smaller events planned, like bi-weekly volunteer trips to Feed My Starving Children, but this was their biggest event of the semester, Caddes said.