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Green-up Day volunteers spruce up Pburgh

ARC Direct Support Supervisor Ray Murtagh, right, holds the bag for Angie French of the ARC’s Home Services Department at Trinity Park in Plattsburgh as part of the Green-up Day city clean up.

ARC Direct Support Supervisor Ray Murtagh, right, holds the bag for Angie French of the ARC’s Home Services Department at Trinity Park in Plattsburgh as part of the Green-up Day city clean up. Photo by Shaun Kittle.

— The level of enthusiasm was the same at Trinity Park, where representatives of the ARC, some of the individuals they serve, and members of Pi Kappa Phi worked shoulder to shoulder using rakes to scoop debris into plastic bags.

“We decided we wanted to look into local opportunities, so we reached out to the ARC,” said Victor Delregno Jr., president of the Eta Kappa Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. “We’re the only (national) fraternity to own and operate our own philanthropy, Push America, which aims to change the way society views people with disabilities.”

Delregno pointed out that, when working to change peoples’ perceptions, even seemingly trivial distinctions, like saying ‘people with disabilities’ instead of ‘disabled people,’ are important.

“The person always comes before the disability,” Delregno said. “We’re all the same. Some of us are born a little different, but that’s not a reason to ostracize people or to stay away from them.”

Delregno said he has a cousin who is autistic, and that being close to her while growing up is what inspired him to do more to help individuals with disabilities.

Pi Kappa Phi will be participating in the Autism Awareness Walk on Saturday, April 27 at the Plattsburgh Oval.

The walk has already raised almost $10,000 to support local programs and increase awareness about autism in the community.

Registration for the event begins at 10 a.m., and the walk begins at 11 a.m.

To pre-register, sponsor a walker, or make a donation, visit aaneny.org.

Rounding out a busy weekend, Pi Kappa Phi is also helping the North Country Down Syndrome Association throw a bowling jamboree Sunday, April 28 from 1-5 p.m. at North Bowl Lanes in Plattsburgh.

The entry fee, which includes shoe rentals, is $60 for teams of four and $18 for individuals. It is also $18 per person for teams of two or three people.

To register, email the North Country Down Syndrome Association at ncdownsyndrome@gmail.com.

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