By Theo Schwinke
At 6 a.m. on April 15, Brian Carter sat down in a rocking chair at the corner of Broadway and 8th Street in downtown Columbia, planning to stay put for 63 hours.
“I’m just trying to relax and remember why and who I am doing this for,” Carter said.
Carter is the designated rocker in this year’s Rock-A-Thon, an effort by the men of Alpha Epsilon Pi at Mizzou to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The event is held every other year. Since the first Rock-a-Thon in 1969, the chapter has raised more than $1 million.
While Carter rocks, the rest of the chapter is taking to the streets, collecting donations. “The brothers canning from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day is a huge motivation factor for me,” Carter said.
This year, Rock-A-Thon is highlighting lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined.
“Cancer affects everyone,” said Jacob Resnick, Alpha Epsilon Pi philanthropy chair. “No matter who you are, how fortunate you may be, and the way in which you live your life — cancer doesn’t discriminate.”
Alpha Epsilon Pi aims to raise tens of thousands of dollars but expects their haul will be less than $132,000 record the chapter set in 2015, owing to the pandemic.
“While the power of the internet will be a huge key to our success this year, we can’t thank the community of Columbia enough for their continued support of our event,” Resnick said. “On top of this, our alumni play a huge role in our efforts. We are very thankful for all our donors.”
Students also can chip in, either via Venmo or with cash donations to the Alpha Epsilon Pi volunteers walking campus and the streets of Columbia. “Mizzou students are a huge factor in the impact we make,” Resnick said.
Carter has seen the effects of cancer in his own family. His great grandmother survived skin cancer, his aunt survived breast cancer, and his grandmother passed away from brain cancer.
You can help Alpha Epsilon Pi support the American Cancer Society by donating at mizzourockathon.com.