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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Church Reaps Benefits of Fraternity Party

November 08, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A group of about 40 Pepperdine fraternity members got together Saturday and went to church in Ventura, not to attend a service, but to volunteer their services as sanders, painters and tree trimmers.

Pledges, active members and alumni from the Lambda Omega Sigma chapter of the national Psi Upsilon fraternity spent six hours doing handyman work at Community Presbyterian Church on Poli Street as part of a weekend retreat.

"It's what bonds as a brotherhood," said alum Andy Power, 25, as he shoveled tree trimmings into the back of a pickup.

Scott McCulley, 21, a member of the Ventura church, said the fraternity's primary mission is service work, and that different projects are performed throughout the year. Lambda Sigma is alcohol-free, and many of its members are active in church organizations.

"It's humbling, and it brings you closer together," McCulley said of doing volunteer work.

At the church, the men sanded and painted part of a building used for children's classes, cut down several aging trees and trimmed shrubs. Trucks for hauling and chain saws were donated.

Fraternity members do group projects as well as individual volunteer work, said Rob Balucas, 21, an active member.

Past projects have included taking truckloads of clothes to hurricane victims in San Felipe, Mexico, answering phones during a telethon, and shoveling mud in an El Nino-ravaged area of Bakersfield.

"The times we are the closest are the times we are serving," Power said.

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