The word affinity is used to describe a feeling of closeness or understanding that someone has for another person or group because of their similar qualities, ideas or interests. Affinity has played a big role in the recent success that several Wake Forest groups are having in raising significant funds for Wake Forest Athletics. As these groups unite around something that will always bond them together—their relationship with each other and with Wake Forest—they have found a way to make Wake Forest a better place for generations to come while honoring their own legacy.
As a member and past president of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity, I truly look at this group as the trailblazers for the new wave of affinity group fundraising for Wake Forest Athletics. It all began when Rick Maloy, DKE past president and current co-president of the Deacon Club Athletic Advisory Council stepped up and offered to work with fellow DKE brothers to raise funds for the Sports Performance Center. This sparked a closer look at the impact that an affinity group—DKE in particular—could have on fundraising.
In the beginning years of the Wake Forest field hockey program the team practiced and played games at Polo Field (which now serves as the site of Spry Stadium) right across the street from the DKE house. It would be safe to say that the fraternity was the team’s biggest fans. We attended their games and rooted for them with avid enthusiasm. We may even owe some opposing goalies apologies as they were definitely in the firing line of our enthusiasm from time to time. We even played a scrimmage between the fraternity brothers and the team at Polo Field. I seem to recall that our fraternity won the game; however, I also recall that we may have disregarded the rules of the game according to our field hockey friends. All in all, though, there was no doubt that not only being a DKE brother bonded us together but also our fond memories of cheering on the field hockey team.
And so, with the leadership of Rick Maloy, fellow DKE brothers covering multiple decades have joined together to name the field hockey locker room in honor of our respect and admiration for our field hockey friends and in the name of DKE fraternity. To date we have raised over $150,000 with over 50 brothers joining in the effort.
In addition to the fundraising successes of DKE, two other groups have made a significant impact on Wake Forest Athletics. I am proud to share that the 1992 Independence Bowl football team has raised over $200,000 for the Sports Performance Center and the 1970 ACC Championship football team has raised close to $100,000! Because of the significant fundraising of both of these teams, they will each have a physical space in the Sports Performance Center dedicated in their honor.
These examples of affinity support are proof that the effort of a collective group can make a significant difference in our ability to achieve fundraising success.
So, I ask you: What is your affinity? Is it an athletic team? Club? Fraternity? Parent group? You too can make a difference by working together to better the future of Wake Forest Athletics.
On behalf of the Deacon Club staff, I want to thank my fellow DKE brothers, the 1992 Independence Bowl football team and the 1970 ACC Championship football team for leading their friends and teammates to make a real difference for Deacon athletics.
If you have an interest in exploring a fundraising opportunity for your group, I urge you to reach out to the Deacon Club at 336-758-5626 or firstname.lastname@example.org as we have resources to assist you. As we draw closer to the end of the Sports Performance Center match*, every bit of support helps tremendously.
*For more information on the Sports Performance Center and to find out how your gift can be doubled, click here.
(Note: This article was originally published in the May/June 2016 issue of Gold Rush.)