University of Vermont

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Fraternity Wins Fundraising Competition, Scores Seth Rogen Visit

From movie posters to t-shirts to this thrift shop find, Seth Rogen signed a number of items for the brothers. Amused at the choice of the polar bear poster, Rogen joked, "Did you pay to have this framed?" (Photo: Sally McCay)

"Don't be shy, kids." Seth Rogen's trademark humor broke the ice Thursday afternoon, as groups of UVM students filtered in to Merrill's Roxy Theater to meet the writer/actor. Why had Rogen made time to come to Burlington amid a hectic week promoting his new film? It was all thanks to the fundraising prowess of UVM fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha.

The brothers won a national fundraising competition sponsored by Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity foundation, which raises money to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Rogen’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at 55 years old, which motivated the actor and his wife, the actor and writer Lauren Miller, to launch the charity.

Pi Kappa Alpha raised more than $27,000 for the charity, besting 270 college groups across the country. In all, Hilarity for Charity’s college fundraiser netted $128,567. Of the money the UVM fraternity raised, $16,000 will stay with the Vermont Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

UVM students were treated to three sneak preview screenings of Rogen’s new film, Neighbors, which opens nationally on May 9. After the 2 p.m. showing, a private screening for fraternity members and their guests, Rogen and Miller participated in a lengthy Q&A covering both their personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease through Miller’s mother, the scope and work of Hilarity for Charity and their professional careers.

Launching the charity, both Rogen and Miller said, enabled them to progress from feeling helpless against the onslaught of the disease to being hopeful that raising awareness and funding could lead to a cure.