Edinboro Alumnus Embodies the Meaning Behind Giving Back to Chapter
Featured image courtesy of Frank Purrachio
Frank “Pizza” Purrachio lives and breathes Lambda Chi Alpha. He has since he was initiated at Edinboro University in 1978, after he saw what Lambda Chi had to offer and how the members set themselves apart from the other fraternities on campus. But the aspect of the brotherhood that has kept Purrachio active all of these years later was that of service.
“One of the things that I will never forget about Lambda Chi Alpha is the service we did for the community…that always stuck with me, and that’s probably why I became such a community-oriented person,” said Purrachio.
Now, Purrachio goes above and beyond for the current members of the Beta-Delta chapter to remind them that service is first and foremost when they join the Lambda Chi brotherhood.
Purrachio takes what it means to be an alumni volunteer to the next level, always available and eager to help his chapter. He has assisted the chapter in many ways, including financial help in 2007 and spearheading drives to buy new ritual equipment.
One of the biggest efforts Purrachio oversees, however, is the Crazy John Ernst golf outing. Each year, the participants of the golf outing are asked to bring a bag of clothes that can be donated to the local used clothing store, Thrifty Threads. In addition, members and alumni donate gently-worn shoes, canned goods for the local food pantry, and baby items for Boro Women’s Services.
While Purrachio loves helping those in the community that has become so dear to him, one of his favorite projects remains the Lambda Chi memorial that calls the lake on campus its home. While it began as a memorial bench with trees on each side honoring brothers who had passed away, Purrachio wanted to honor all those who called themselves Lambda Chis and who, like him, gained so much from joining the fraternity. Now, a plaque rests by the lake that honors every brother who became a Lambda Chi of the Beta-Delta chapter.
When Purrachio was diagnosed with Stage 4 bone and prostate cancer and only given 24 months to live in November 2015, he was extremely unsure of what the future of his involvement with Lambda Chi would like like. Instead of giving up, though, he felt the need to give back to his brotherhood even more. That is just the kind of genuine person Purrachio is and always has been.
“The fraternity created so many great opportunities for me in business and in my personal life,” said Purrachio. “When I was associating, I got the nickname ‘Pizza’, and that was like the golden ticket to the show.
“It was unbelievable the opportunities it opened up, and I started meeting people, and it’s like it almost became its own brand.”
Purrachio has already beaten the doctor’s predictions by 10 months and has no plan of slowing down with his involvement in the chapter that he loves. He hopes that for the rest of his life he can make a small difference in the lives of these young men and remind them to never forget the community around them and how they are called on to serve as members of Lambda Chi.
“The fraternity takes a life of its own, for me at least, and I love the community aspect of it,” said Purrachio. “What really tugs at your heart is when you know that you have made a difference.”
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