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Western Illinois University Chapter Wins National Phi Kappa Phi Book Drive Competition

May 22, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – For the third year in a row, the Western Illinois University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) has been chosen a winner in the national chapter's annual book drive competition.

This year the WIU chapter, led by WIU Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Professor Katharine Pawelko, collected 3,450 books. The donated books will be given to the YMCA of McDonough County, the United Way, Wesley Village, The Elms and elementary schools in Macomb.

"It has been such a blessing to be a part of this year's book drive. The overwhelming support from both the Western Illinois University community and the Macomb community allowed us to achieve far more than we had planned," said Crystal Brooke, student vice president for the WIU chapter. "We are excited to be a part of bringing the 'love of learning' to all the members of our community."

As a winning chapter, WIU will be eligible to receive either a "Little Free Library," to be placed at a location of their choice, or a waived registration fee to attend the upcoming Student Leadership Summit in Summer 2019. The Little Free Library is a freestanding box where anyone can donate and borrow books in an effort to promote literacy throughout communities-a prize that fits well with the Society's love of learning and literacy.

"The book drives emphasize my commitment to the PKP credo, let the love of learning rule humanity," said WIU Chapter Treasurer Robert C. Intrieri, who leads the chapter's student vice presidents. "This is related to everyone, especially those that are not blessed to have the resources to purchase books and other reading materials. The book drive, and my involvement, is a small way to give back to the Macomb community. I owe a lot to WIU and PKP, so this is my small way of paying tribute to Macomb, WIU and the love of learning that PKP represents to me. It more than an honor society, it is a way of life. I am glad to pay tribute."

The national book drive competition, held between Feb. 1-April 30, saw participation from 18 Phi Kappa Phi chapters across the nation, with a total of more than 10,000 donated books and $461 in monetary donations. Established in 2014, Phi Kappa Phi created the event as a way to promote literacy in the communities and campuses served by its chapters.

Phi Kappa Phi's annual book drive competition has donated more than 55,000 books to organizations both locally and abroad since its creation. Organizations that have received donated books as part of the competition include schools, libraries, hospitals, correctional centers, tutoring and mentoring programs, shelters and more.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Earlier this spring, the WIU chapter initiated more than 65 high-achieving WIU students.

To learn more about PKP, visit

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