Staff photo/Caitlyn Stulpin
The brothers of Phi Kappa Psi, N.J. Epsilon chapter, teamed up with the Field of Dreams charity organization to make a difference in children’s lives by building a playground the Field of Dreams, located at the Dr. Jonathan Pitney Recreation Park in Absecon.
“Saturday [Sept. 28], the fraternity brothers did Rowan University proud,” said Larry McCarthy, board member at the fields and head of volunteering services. “They helped on different teams, but most gratefully lugged and prepared dozens of wheelbarrow loads of mulch around the grounds. Their efforts enabled the project to be completed about an hour sooner than planned.”
Jaried Kimberley, senior theatre arts major and Phi Kappa Psi service chairman, worked with McCarthy to plan the event for his organization.
“I came across the project from one of our recent alumni who brought Phi Kappa Psi to the Field of Dreams while I was pledging in spring of 2011,” Kimberley said. “I loved it and realized just how important it was and I couldn’t let it pass. I had to make sure that the chapter stayed connected.”
The brothers worked from 8 a.m. until about 2:30 p.m., helping build a handicap-accessible playground for the kids. While the guys worked, a few of them took breaks to play baseball with the kids.
“My favorite part is the impact we have on the kids, not just because they get to play with someone, but there’s this light that they have in their eyes,” Kimberley said. “It changes them just as much as it changes you. You’re humbled because you realize that everything you’re concerned about doesn’t matter to them. They’re inspiriting, they’re uplifting.”
With fraternity Rush Week coming to a close, the brothers opened the event up to potential new members to show them what service is all about. Junior biochemistry major Tim Kain was one of the interested students to attend the event.
“Working with the brothers was a great experience, they really made us new guys feel welcome and I can’t wait to work with them more in the future,” Kain said. “But my favorite part was seeing the joy on the kids’ faces. Their emotions are completely genuine and I could tell they were all so happy to be playing baseball.”
Working with the kids wasn’t the only rewarding part for the brothers. During the event, McCarthy and Kimberley revealed a surprise for the rest of the brothers.
“[Kimberley], as a senior, wanted to leave a mark to signify the chapter’s attachment to our program and its players,” McCarthy said. “He surprised the members in attendance with a short speech about the chapter’s impact on him and how serving others will always be with him moving forward. We then unveiled the banner to a rousing cheer.”
The banner hanging in the outfield reads, “The Great Joy of Serving Others, New Jersey Epsilon Chapter, Rowan University” alongside the Phi Kappa Psi crest.
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