news releases

2005.04.07 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Fraternity Members Organize "Just Can It" Drive for Salvation Army

Omaha - Members of the Greek system at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will again be sleeping in cardboard boxes on campus to attract attention to the "Just Can It!" food drive that benefits the Salvation Army.  The event is slated for April 11-15, all day and night, in the UNO Pep Bowl.

"We raised awareness and collected more than 1,500 food items last year," said Justin Ptacnik, special event coordinator for Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.  "Our goal for the event is to improve the amount of food collecting every year and continue to raise awareness for homelessness in Omaha." 

Spring is often a time of year that presents a particular need for canned food at the Salvation Army, according to Susan Eustice, public relations director for the Salvation Army.  In particular, foods like beans, pasta, tuna, peanut butter, baby food, canned fruit, cereal and soup are especially useful.  Donations of money also provide flexibility to purchase whatever is needed most at special prices.

"The effort these young men have put into this event is terrific," Eustice said.  "They provide a true, giving example to the community."

More than 30 fraternity members are expected to be sleeping in the Pep Bowl throughout the week.  The Pep Bowl is the grassy area south of the Eppley Administration Building.  In addition to Pi Kappa Alpha, UNO's Alpha Xi Delta sorority will also take part in the event.  From the business community, Mutual of Omaha and Payless Office Products will help sponsor the event, and HyVee Supermarkets will serve as food donation/drop off points.

Ptacnik said special events, including a concert with a local band, will take place during the week, as well.

The Monday, April 11, kick-off event for "Just Can It!" is set for 10:30 a.m. on the Henningson Plaza at UNO.  Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, Mayor Mike Fahey, and Chancellor Nancy Belck will be in attendance.  "We're hoping for a bright, clear day to get things started," Ptacnik said.  "After that, we're just crossing our fingers for no rain.  But we'll be in the Pep Bowl no matter what."

In addition to HyVee, food collection sites will also be available at UNO.  For more information, contact Ptacnik at (402) 960-0868.

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