18,240 Pieces

Nothing brings people of various backgrounds, races, ages, genders and personalities together like a huge, long-term project. Projects that culminate in a single visionary goal tend to unite different voices, because team members focus more on the end product than on their individual differences.

NSU fraternities and sororities are currently working on a unique community service project —  completing a 18, 240-piece puzzle to be donated to Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.

The project started earlier this semester after Mickele Mentz, first-year graduate student in leadership and a brother of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity,  asked a group of his close friends to chip in to purchase the $140 puzzle — which is the world’s third largest commercially available puzzle.

Mentz is known among his fraternity brothers for constantly working on puzzles, and his interest inspired him to invite the entire Greek community to work on piecing together a massive one. He said, “I liked the idea of the challenge of building one of the biggest puzzles in the world. The fact that we could donate it was an even better feeling.”

Mentz and his fraternity brothers, who helped lead the project, selected Joe DiMaggio’s as the puzzle’s recipient by unanimous vote.

Since the project’s inception earlier this semester, it has grown to involve multiple sororities and fraternities, and even some non- Greek students. Participants have helped by slowly piecing bits of the puzzle together.

So far, according to Mentz, the puzzle is about “17 to 18 percent complete”. He anticipates that it will be completed in November.  The finished puzzle will be 10 feet by 6 feet and will display a variety of African animals at a watering hole, including elephants, giraffes, hippopotamuses and birds.

Mentz said that the project’s scope is far greater than its number of puzzle pieces, as it has brought many NSU students together to achieve a common goal.

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