Terre Haute Chapters Raise $18k for Children’s Museum

27 April

TERRE HAUTE (Indiana State/Rose-Hulman) — Fraternity brothers from two universities hope to etch their appreciation in stone in coming years.

Alpha Tau Omega members from Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology hit the exhibits and games of the Terre Haute Children’s Museum Monday evening, picking up steam for an $18,000 fundraising project on their fraternity’s behalf.

Inside the museum, chapters announced their joint sponsorship of the Educator’s Corner, located on the building’s southeast corner. Limestones and bricks engraved with the names of Wabash Valley educators can be purchased to support the project.

Museum executive director Lynn Hughes credited the students for their support, adding that the relationship goes both ways. The museum offers a number of opportunities for volunteer projects and school functions.

“The museum is very fortunate to have a number of great partners in the community, and we’re happy to count you among them,” she told fraternity members.

Danny Tanoos, superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp. and ISU ATO Class of 1979, told the undergraduates that their fraternity has deep ties to the local education community. Pointing out students in the crowd by name, he also named their parents who teach locally.

“Once you’re an ATO, it’s a lifelong commitment to each other,” he said, adding he still keeps in contact with his own pledge class, dubbed “The Dirty 30” during their own days as Sycamores.

The ATO chapters will work with their alumni to raise $18,000 over three years to sponsor the Educator’s Corner, and they will be engaging in extensive promotion and sales of bricks and limestones in this section.

To recognize the two chapters’ financial support, these words will be engraved in the pillar at the southeast corner of Museum: “Educator’s Corner is sponsored by the Alpha Tau Omega Chapters of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Indiana State University. This section is designated to honor Educators of the Wabash Valley as recognized by those whose lives they have positively impacted.”

ISU chapter adviser John Newton credited his Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology counterpart Ron Reeves as providing much of the project’s inspiration. Serving as an alumni mentor is a unique role, he said, distinguishing it from brotherhood or fatherhood, likening it more to the role of an uncle. The commitment to community service, he said, is a family tradition among ATOs.

“It’s not just about us. It’s about others,” he said.

As part of the sponsorship, the ATOs will honor the late Jake Maehling, an ATO and former principal of Woodrow Wilson Middle School, with an engraved limestone. Limestones are also being engraved for Reeves, a Rose-Hulman Gamma Gamma special alumnus, and Newton, Indiana State Zeta Omicron special alumnus.

Individuals interested in purchasing a brick should contact the museum at 812-235-5548 or by email at info@terrehautechildrensmuseum.com

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