Sigma Pi brings puppies to Marillac

The lovable pups raise awareness for Veterans’ PTSD



Sigma Pi member with one of the therapeutic dogs at the event on Oct. 27.

Chyna Davis, Staff Writer

Emphasizing the importance of service dogs for Veterans suffering with PTSD, brothers of Sigma Pi Fraternity held their annual Sigma Puppies event in Marillac Terrace on Oct. 27.

“What Sigma Puppies is, is basically the Sigma Pi Fraternity here [bringing] out numerous service dogs as well as their Veteran handlers just for a day of Awareness for PTSD and just numbers that are just so crazy to us that we want to help beat,” Andrew Calvano said.

Calvano serves as the Inter-Fraternal Council President and Chair of Altruistic Campus Experience (ACE).

ACE is a service project designed and implemented by Sigma Pi Fraternity to support St. John’s Student Veterans Association.

The event was held with eight service dogs from 12-3 p.m. Each dog has directly impacted their handlers life. Sigma Pi received over $1,400 in donations according to St. John’s Division of Student Affairs.  

The first puppy that began the event was Kimba, a two-year-old black lab, who attracted a lot of attention with her friendly demeanor and positive energy.

“22 veterans commit suicide a day and millions and millions suffer from PTSD,” said Calvano. “We truly believe that service dogs and the compassion and energy they show towards their handlers…that a four-legged animal can truly change a veterans life for the better and help them better cope into reality.”

St. John’s students Mel Sheehan and Jenique Dubois appreciated Sigma Puppies.

“It’s a great event, plus they raised so much money in only three hours!” said Mel Sheehan. “That’s not easy, but these guys get it done!”

“I thought it was cool,” said Jenique Dubois. “I didn’t know exactly what was going on at first but it was really nice to see the puppies.”

“I guess it did release stress in a kind of way because people were happy after seeing them and stayed a while to pet and take pictures of the dogs,” Dubois continued. “I didn’t know it was to raise awareness about PTSD and I wasn’t expecting that but it was a nice surprise.”