As told by Benigno Reyes,
The founder of Mud Tug
Phi Kappa Psi has always had a strong foundation in philanthropy. When I joined, we sent two brothers to Rochester soup kitchen every week, helped maintain Sojourner house (for battered women, and made several trips to Ronald McDonald house each year for volunteer maintenance. I was philanthropy chair going into the 1995-1996 year and wanted to supplement our volunteer work with a fun fund raising event. Fund raising is an important philanthropic activity, that takes a ton of time on the part of the organizer, but nothing shows how each brother really cares better than a little labor and sweat expended for the benefit of a local Rochester need.
Sometime in the early fall of 1995, a car load of brothers drove to Bowling Green State U in Ohio for a road trip. This school has a very strong Greek Program and a Phi Psi chapter. On the weekend we were there, we attended sporting events co sponsored by by Phi Kappa Psi and some sorority. It was a Bath-tub race, a relay race across the school pond in a real floating bath tub. It was very cool. I thought to myself we needed something like this at RIT because it brought the Greeks together and demonstrated good spirit. I also thought that we could charge an entrance fee and therefore raise some money in the process.
Since we don't have a lake, I eventually came up with the idea of the All-Greek Mud-Tug. Like the BGSU event, I thought a success factor would be the involvement of a second organization because it adds credibility to the event and spreads the glory for the accomplishment. Andrea Denney was the philanthropy chair at Zeta. She was looking for ways to raise money for Susan G Komen, so we partnered on this event.
The grand plan of the first Mud-Tug was to collect team fees, but also print a RIT calendar poster. To raise additional money, we tried selling advertising space around the calendar, which would eventually be disseminated to all students in attendance. That didn't quite work out, but we still raised something like $1800 that first year. We also made shirts for all Zeta's and Phi Psi's which was very cool. I still have shirts from the first two years. Since the first year was successful, Andrea and I split the work again the next year. So I think the first Mud-Tug was 1996 and the second was 1997.
I hope this clears up the story of Mud-Tug. Again the value of philanthropy is not the glory our brotherhood or Zeta's sisterhood receive for our efforts, but rather the humility it builds in the individuals involved. I hope the partnership with Zeta remains strong on this event in the future.
By the way, Andrea Denney and I dated from 1995 to 2000 when she then became Andrea Reyes. We got married in Syracuse. We have a happy marriage an two kids (Mateo age 4 and Maya age 1) and we now live in Westfield MA. So this is the full and complete story of Mud-Tug, through 1997 anyway.