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Thiel College trustee and wife set up $25,000 match challenge to celebrate 50th anniversary of walk


Thiel College trustee and wife set up $25,000 match challenge to celebrate 50th anniversary of walk

GREENVILLE, Pa.—In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Phi Theta Phi’s 100-mile walk from Thiel College to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, alumnus and Thiel College trustee Carl A. Hoffman Jr., D.O. ’69, H’10, and his wife, Theresa H’16, have announced their company, PrimeCare Medical, Inc., have established a $25,000 match challenge for this year’s event.

“We are indebted to the generosity of Phi brother Carl Hoffman. His commitment to our organization will make this 50th anniversary celebration one worth remembering,” said walk chairperson Vincent Mion ’19. “They say the walk is big kids helping little kids, but the dedication of Hoffman and other alumni who have made this walk a reality every year shows that it is more than just students who connect Thiel College to the western Pennsylvania community.”

The organization will need to raise $25,000 to unlock the matching funds.

The first Walk-a-Thon was held in February 1968 and raised $1,100.  Since that time, the fraternity has raised more than $1.6 million for the Free Care Fund at the hospital, which provides financial assistance for families regardless of their ability to pay for their children’s medical costs.

“What the walk-a-thon has grown into since we sat down in 1968 and planned the first walk is gratifying,” Hoffman said. “I am proud to be a part of this annual tradition and look forward to the accomplishments of all the future Phi Theta Phi classes.”  

PrimeCare Medical is a leader in providing comprehensive healthcare services to county jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers throughout the northeastern United States. Hoffman founded the company in 1986.

“Through all the changes of the past 50 years, there has been one constant for Phi Theta Phi. All the brothers have experienced and strengthened the bond of the Phi brotherhood by participating in the the Walk-a-thon for Children’s Hospital,” said College archivist John Hauser ’71. “Our brothers still walk together through the rain and snow, mile after mile advocating for children who need care and treatment.”

The fraternity brothers have been collecting money with various fundraisers throughout the fall, including attending Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night on Nov. 16, where they raised more than $800.

“Philanthropy is one of the most important contributions a fraternity can make,” Mion said. “The walk takes lots of steps, both in the planning and the execution, but it’s all about having fun and giving back at the same time.”

Pre-walk collections are planned next week in the communities of Meadville, Sharon, Mercer and Greenville. The fraternity will leave Greenville Dec. 7, walk through Mercer, Grove City, Slippery Rock and Butler, then end the day in Freeport. On Saturday, Dec. 8, they will walk through Natrona Heights, Breckenridge, New Kensington, Arnold, Springdale, Cheswick, Harmar Township, Oakmont, Lawrenceville and finally arriving at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

  • Cash donations will be collected throughout the walk Checks (made payable to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation) can be mailed to Phi Theta Phi Alumni Association, PO Box 365, Greenville, PA 16125.
  • Donations can be made online.

“The members of Phi Theta Phi are an extraordinary reminder of the impact small organizations and groups can have on the world at large,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “The dedication of our students and alumni have created a legacy of giving that has spanned decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars. The philanthropic commitment of the Hoffmans and the students and alumni of Phi Theta Phi affirms that Thiel is a special place where students are embraced by a supportive community, make important connections, and become valued civic and professional leaders.”

About the Phi Theta Phi Walk-a-thon

Phi Theta Phi began at Thiel College as a local fraternity in 1966. Two years later, the fraternity started a tradition that has become one of the most successful Greek philanthropy efforts in the College’s history. The first Walk-a-thon was in 1968 and raised $1,100. In 2014, Phi Theta Phi was recognized as one of the Top 10 donors to the Fund. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania Senate have cited the chapter for its service, and in 2002, the Association of Fundraising Professionals acknowledged them as an outstanding philanthropic organization. In 2015, the College recognized the fraternity with a Service to Thiel Award.

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Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016 and remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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