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Tech, UGA frats join forces to battle heart disease

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Combine good sportsmanship with philanthropy, and everybody wins.

That's the message that brothers in the Sigma Nu fraternity wanted the public to grasp as part of a continuing tradition Friday afternoon.

The fourth annual Gameball Run is a 70-mile dash in which the fraternity's membership at the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology take turns sprinting about one mile each from Atlanta to Athens. The event occurs every year the day before the rivalry game.

Runners from Atlanta arrived in Lawrenceville -- the halfway point -- about 1 p.m. Friday.

Runners from Georgia Tech's Gamma Alpha chapter ran all the way from their campus to the downtown square, passing it off to those with UGA at the Historic Gwinnett Courthouse.

Weston Landis, philanthropy chairman with Georgia Tech Sigma Nu, said it's "always a good opportunity to meet those we don't know, and catch up with those we do ... and it's for a good cause."

UGA's philanthropy chairman, Chris Brandus, agreed.

"That's why we do this," Brandus said. "Everybody wins."

Wells Ellenberg, UGA Sigma Nu Mu chapter president, said he enjoys the fact that members from both institutions can "join forces and lend a hand."

Added Ellenberg: "We talk a little about the game too."

The Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets game is scheduled for Saturday at noon in Sanford Stadium.

Christian "Tank" Anderson, who planned to take the first dash out of Lawrenceville city limits Friday said that it was "an honor" to be a part of the event.

In 2011, both chapters of Sigma Nu raised about $7,500 for the American Heart Association.

In 2009, UGA's Sigma Nu hosted the same event with the University of South Carolina. The halfway point was Augusta.

According to its website, the American Heart Association's mission is to "build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."

For more information, visit www.heart.org.