Howard W. Hewitt – Wabash men are giving to good causes all of the time, or so it seems. Several guys gather virtually every Saturday morning through the school year to work with Habitat for Humanity. Fraternities and other groups donate money and time to the Boys and Girls Club, Animal Shelter, and much more.

We encourage those groups to let Public Affairs know about their activities and we’ll let the entire Wabash Community know about their efforts. The most important thing is the time and resources they give the Crawfordsville community. But there is nothing wrong with giving them some publicity for their good work.

Below is an example of one fraternity’s charitable efforts.

John Dykstra '13, Josh Jones '14, and Mark Stoops '14

Jacob Surface ’11 – What would possess three Wabash Men to get up at 6 a.m. Saturday, drive north two hours and dive into a freezing outdoor pool in the middle of winter?  A good cause of course!

Last Saturday, three young brothers from Theta Delta Chi showed their dedication to philanthropy at Valparaiso University’s Polar Plunge.  The event, and many like it around the state, is designed to raise money for Special Olympics Indiana.  Participants are asked to raise a “bare” minimum of $75 each in sponsorship. 

“The campus was great in helping us fundraise,” said organizer John Dykstra  ’13. “Besides the fraternity and family members, we received donations from faculty and staff as well as fellow students at Chapel.” 

The trio was the highest fundraising squad of any college group at the event; they mustered $410 in only a week.  Their success is easy to understand in light of their motivation.

Dykstra's dive into the cold water - with Wabash flag!

“I volunteered at Special Olympics events for 7 years with family members,” Dykstra said. “It was an inspiring thing to be a part of. The individuals and families who take part are so brave, I didn’t think plunging into a cold pool was too scary in comparison.”

Newcomer Mark Stoops thought it was a cool way to give back. “I wanted to be a part of something positive in the community and this was an exciting opportunity to do that.” 

Valparaiso coordinators were shocked that the group had come so far for the event.  But that wasn’t the last shock the other volunteers would receive from the Wabash Crew.   The three Theta Delts made a second plunge that morning. “We didn’t get a chance for a photo and figured that since everyone had given so much they deserved a good shot for their donations,” explained freshman Josh Jones.

And the group hasn’t had enough just yet.  They plan to make another plunge Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.  “We are hoping to recruit more Wabash guys for the cause.  It would be awesome to have a whole team to take with us.” 

No matter the weather, you can be sure that the young men will be “Freezin for a Reason” with Special Olympics Indiana. Questions about Polar Plunge or donations can be directed to John Dykstra,