Fraternity alumni band together to give a lift to a friend

Betsy Marrow Dayko ’70, who has been using a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis since 1996, received a big surprise over the summer when alumni brothers of WCU’s Zeta Xi chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity gave her a wheelchair-friendly van with a power lift gate for her exclusive use at a cost of $1 a year. Dayko’s need for a specially equipped van came to the attention of the Pike alumni when she expressed her interest in attending the Purple and Gold reunion this July. Jim Bailey ’70 stepped forward and reserved, at his cost, a rental van for her for that weekend. A longtime friend of another Pike alumnus, Mitchell Hull ’72, who had used a wheelchair since he was injured in an automobile accident in Cullowhee in 1970 and who died in February 2013, learned of Dayko’s situation through conversations with Pike alum Bob Barber’72 and decided to donate Hull’s lift van to the cause. The fraternity’s alumni association serviced the van and replaced the windshield while Bill Carmichael ’73 purchased new tires. Bill Hannon ’71 drove the van from Florida to Charlotte for the presentation where William “Bill” Ross ’70, president of the Zeta Xi Alumni Association, gave Dayko the keys to the van. “Betsy was the fraternity’s ‘Dream Girl’ in 1969 and has always been near and dear to the brotherhood, with her winning smile, friendly nature and outgoing personality,” said Jerry Matheny ’70, secretary of the chapter’s alumni association. “Those traits, and her relentlessly positive attitude, remain in evidence today as she contends with any challenge that comes her way.”