ARIZONA NEWS

ASU fraternity raises more than $60K for TGen, shaves heads in honor of former member

Nov 30, 2021, 4:45 AM

PHOENIX — When Taylor Dintzner and other members of Arizona State University’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity reached out to alumni about charity ideas for the school year, they were alerted to the name of a former member — Jim Harris.

Harris had quite the résumé.

He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, also known as FIJI, in the early 1970s and worked his way up to vice president of business development for Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute before retiring in September 2019.

Unfortunately, Harris’ retirement was short.

He died of ALS, also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in June 2020. Harris was 67.

“Before he passed away, he had a wish that all of the gifts and contributions and memorial of him would be donated directly right to TGen’s Center for Rare Childhood Disorders,” Dintzner, FIJI president, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Dintzner and FIJI knew they had to honor the final wish of their fraternity brother.

They created the “Shave to Save” fundraiser as a way to raise money and personally get involved in the fundraising.

As part of it, 47 of the 75 FIJI members agreed to shave their heads to raise awareness — and funds — for Harris and TGen.

The effort resulted in $58,000 raised between Nov. 1 and Nov. 14, the day the fraternity members took the plunge and buzzed their heads.

The total has swelled to more than $61,000 and the hope is to hit $75,000. The original goal was $30,000.

The fundraiser was the largest monetary total for a fraternity in ASU history, according to Dintzner.

“I think the biggest thing I learned and other brothers in our chapters learned is that we’re very fortunate to be in the position we are in,” Dintzner said.

“It’s our responsibility to give back and improve the lives of others and support this organization that truly does give a positive impact to children who need it.”

The connection between FIJI and TGen extends past Harris.

Seth Belnap was diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder at TGen’s Center. Belnap’s cousin, Braeden, is a FIJI member.

Harris’ own 15-year-old grandson, Harris, was also diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy and received care at the Center.

Donations are scheduled to remain open until Nov. 30 but could be extended later in the year, according to Dintzner.

The donation page is available online.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Kinnerup contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Hilda McGready...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert cancelled for 85-year-old woman who drove off from Arrowhead Mall in Glendale

A Silver Alert was cancelled Sunday for an 85-year-old woman with dementia who drove off from the Arrowhead Mall in Glendale, authorities said.
23 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) walks to her office in the basement of the ...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Jan. 21-23

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema being censured by the state’s Democratic party is among the biggest Arizona stories of the weekend.
23 hours ago
Barry Markson (Twitter photo/BarryMarkson1)...
Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank talks with practicing attorney and KTAR host Barry Markson

Practicing attorney and sometimes KTAR News 92.3 FM host Barry Markson joins this week's Think Tank to discuss his take on Biden’s recent speech and other topics.
23 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Wills Rice

Storm brings rain, strong wind gusts to metro Phoenix Saturday night

A storm rolled through metro Phoenix Saturday night, bringing rain and wind across the Valley.
23 hours ago
A Valley Metro Rail train drives through downtown on March 26, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite fe...
KTAR.com

Phoenix receives $920K for 5-mile streetcar route development in Mesa

The city of Mesa on Friday received a $920,000 grant to manage the planning of a 5-mile streetcar route that would connect four activity centers within the municipality.
23 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police seek public’s help in identifying suspects who shot 2 teens in December

The Phoenix Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying three suspects who shot two 15-year-old teens in December.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
ASU fraternity raises more than $60K for TGen, shaves heads in honor of former member