Rucinski’s brothers in Sigma Pi came together after the accident to raise money for him, and they have since surpassed their fundraising goal of $10,000 by raising $11,009.
Chapter president Nick Fattore said the money raised has been given to Rucinski’s mother, Jill, to use however the family needs it, including to pay for medical and hotel bills.
Seman, who was in Rucinski’s pledge class, said the day he heard his friend was in the hospital in critical condition was one of the scariest days of his life.
“We knew nothing,” Seman said. “People were trying to go see him at the hospital, but it was family-only, so they weren’t able to tell us anything, and not knowing was the scariest part.”
Seman said Rucinski is currently doing physical therapy almost all day every day and is recovering from his injuries faster than his doctors expected.
“He was originally told he would still be in a wheelchair at Thanksgiving, but he can walk,” Seman said. “He just takes a little bit more time.”
Seman said he and Rucinski hit it off quickly after meeting because they are from similar areas and the two became especially close friends at the beginning of this year.
“He’s definitely the closest friend I’ve ever had,” Semen said.
Semen said raising money for Rucinski has brought the members of Sigma Pi closer together and the rest of the chapter looks up to Rucinski because of his toughness.
“Our pledge class was taking it the hardest, and the rest of the house kind of rallied around us,” Seman said. “It definitely made us feel like we were all there for each other.”
Fattore said several of the brothers in his own pledge class got together after the accident happened to think of ways they could help. They created the GoFundMe and raised $10,200 in eight days.
Fattore said Rucinski has a great relationship with the members of Sigma Pi, which has grown even stronger because of the fundraising efforts, and Rucinski’s family has become a huge part of their brotherhood as a chapter.
“Richie is that guy who is always quick with a sarcastic comment, and if you have a problem you can go straight to him,” Fattore said. “He’s just a funny guy, and it’s fun to rile him up.”
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