Tisch junior Cole Sosnoff is using his fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, also know as FIJI, to bring a worthy cause to NYU with the help of comedian Seth Rogen.
Rogen spoke at Capitol Hill on Feb. 26 regarding the lack of Alzheimer’s research conducted by the government. Rogen has been a proponent of Alzheimer’s awareness since forming a fundraising organization, Hilarity for Charity, in 2011.
“That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization,” Rogen said in his speech. “It was through this that we felt we weren’t just complaining there was nothing to be done but actively taking steps to do something. Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality of the disease, we started to educate them.”
Rogen’s testimony attracted attention not only to HFC, but also to the newly established Hilarity for Charity U, which encourages universities nationwide to host their own events to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.
“It became a simple and obvious decision to begin a campaign for Hilarity for Charity when Seth Rogen delivered a heartfelt yet comedic speech to congress about Alzheimer’s disease,” Sosnoff said.
HFC U is offering an incentive to the college group who earns the most money for the cause between Jan. 6 and April 11, including an early screening of the movie “Neighbors” and a meet-and-greet with Rogen himself. FIJI members raised $425 in five days and are in eighth place out of over 100 schools involved.
Poly sophomore and member of FIJI Anaz Uddin said he hopes the fraternity’s involvement will motivate other NYU students to help the charity.
“It is only once we embrace the problem that we can find a cure for it,” Uddin said. “I believe, with everyone’s help, we can win the competition and simultaneously raise awareness and money to fight Alzheimer’s disease.”
According to a website where FIJI tracks donations, only a few members of the NYU community have donated so far. LS freshman Alexander Iorio is one donor who has a personal connection to the cause.
“I donated to Hilarity for Charity because my grandmother suffers from Alzheimer’s and, well, it’s a cause I care a lot about,” Iorio said. “Also one of FIJI’s founding principles is service and I thought the least I could do was donate a few dollars.”
FIJI is trying to organize a comedy show for later in the semester to raise more money for Hilarity for Charity. Sosnoff said FIJI will ask Rogen to come to the show as a guest and will ask famous NYU alumni like James Franco, Andy Samberg and Aziz Ansari to attend as well.
“Hopefully, a few will be able to attend the event, perhaps participate in the [show] or donate to our event, and we can raise money for a fantastic cause,” Sosnoff said. “Even if none are able to come, we plan to send a video recording to Mr. Rogen, which we hope he finds entertaining.”
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, March 5 print edition. Cassandra Cassillas is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.