Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU, fraternity team up for charity event that promotes weight loss

January 25, 2011

Though Indiana State University graduate student Danielle Hoeppner was already resolved to start 2011 by losing weight, she has an additional incentive to continue.

Hoeppner signed up for Pounds for the Pantry, an event co-sponsored by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Office of Recreational Sports at ISU. Pi Kappa Alpha will donate 25 cents for each pound of weight that event participants lose, up to a total of 10,000 pounds, to the Catholic Charities Food Bank of Terre Haute.

ISU students, faculty and staff and members of the Student Recreation Center signed up to participate in the event that will help themselves and others. Some people signed up to participate on their own, while others, such as Hoeppner, are part of an organizational team. Hoeppner, who is a graduate student assistant in the Office of Public Safety, is part of the office's 11-member team who signed up for the event.

"I've already started working out, so I've already made progression in that," said Hoeppner, from LaPorte, "but I find like many other people do, that after a month or so, you start going away from that and stop doing it as much, but this will keep it going for a longer period of time."

In addition to working out, she has started changing some of her lifestyle habits, such as watching what she eats.

It usually takes 20 days for a lifestyle change to form into a habit, said David Stowe, associate director for recreational sports. While Pounds for the Pantry will be long enough to allow for the time needed to develop habit change, it will finish March 3.

"We thought we'd give people an opportunity to approach this from a short-term standpoint, and not necessarily a long-term program," Stowe said.

Stowe approached Pi Kappa Alpha about the idea for the charity event late last fall, said Matthew Folz, president of the ISU chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha. While the fraternity donates to events and causes that are well-known nationwide, the group was also looking to help a local organization.

"This is a way for our chapter to be able to contribute not only to the student body or to Greek life, but it's an opportunity to contribute to the university and to the Terre Haute community overall," said Folz, a senior history major from Evansville.

In addition to the event promoting weight loss, additional programming will be available to help participants. Each Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. for the duration of Pounds for the Pantry, there will be a 45-minute educational session to provide insights and tips for losing weight. The first session, which was conducted the day after the weigh-in, dealt with proper mental preparation needed for healthy behavioral change.

"The intent is to provide people with an array of issues that support a healthy lifestyle," Stowe said of the programming.

As Hoeppner and several other members of her group signed up for the event, they wore shirts sporting their team name, "ISU Police Pound Patrol." Their shirts also included the slogan, "When duty calls, the pounds fall."

Team members will encourage each other through the duration of the project, said Kelly Hall, an administrative assistant in the Office of Public Safety and a member of the Police Pound Patrol.

"I think it's a good community service project," she said.

Director of public safety Bill Mercier also signed up to participate in the event.

"From a health perspective, it's a good thing," Mercier said. "The proceeds are going to the food pantry, and that's a good cause, so it's kind of like a win-win."

More than 300 people have signed up to participate in Pounds for the Pantry.

"For the preliminary and inaugural opportunity of doing this program, it's created a great benchmark for us," Stowe said. "We know there's definitely a great excitement for this program."

Photo: (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Kelly Hall, administrative assistant for the Office of Public Safety, steps on the scale as David Stowe, associate director for recreational sports, prepares to write down her weight. Stowe, who works in the Student Recreation Center, helped organize the Pounds for the Pantry event.

Photo: (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Danielle Hoeppner

Contact: David Stowe, associate director for recreational sports, Office of Recreational Sports, Indiana State University, 812-237-3915 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or


Story Highlights

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Office of Recreational Sports are co-sponsoring Pounds for the Pantry. Pi Kappa Alpha will donate 25 cents per pound of weight participants lose, up to 10,000 pounds, to the Catholic Charities Food Bank of Terre Haute.

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