There may be hundreds of stereotypes that come along with being Greek however; the truth is Greek Life stands for something. One of those values for many Greek lettered organizations is philanthropy or service. On April 21through 22 from 11am -11am, CMU hosted its annual Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Of the 73 teams participating in the event, three Panhellenic Council sororities: Alpha Sigma Alpha, Sigma Lambda Gamma and Phi Mu were in attendance for his huge service event. The relay lasted 24 hours where participants walked on a track and held fundraisers to meet the relay goal of $50,000.
Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA) sold puppy chow, lap counters and held a sucker bowl giveaway as their event fundraiser. The lap counters were necklaces for those who were walking. As they walked during the event, walkers could keep track of how many laps they walked by adding a bead each time they passed ASA’s table. The sucker bowl included prizes according to the color sucker the person had chosen. One of the items included a designer Coach bag.
ASA member and housing manager, Jennifer Doyel enjoyed the event because it was the first time her sorority ever signed up as a team.
“I love it, it’s so great to see so many tables and people here,” Doyel said.
ASA’s original goal was $1,000 but raised it to $1,500 once they reached it only a few hours into the event. Much of their money was raised before the event and Doyel stated that a big part of that was thanks to her sisters and their support.
Doyel believes that Relay is something ASA will definitely participate in next year and encourages others to come and do the same.
“Just come, just do one lap. One lap is all it takes to get you hooked,” Doyel said.
New associate members to Panhellenic council, Sigma Lambda Gamma (SLG), also participated in relay this year. Unlike ASA, relay is something that SLG participates in annually with the exclusion of last year where some members just came to walk and support.
President and scholarship chair, Alexandra Maldonado is one of the sisters who came to support the year prior and has participated in multiple relays over the years through various organizations.
“I feel like there’s more people than last year,” Maldonado said. “It’s nice to see the community and student engagement in raising awareness and money for finding a cure [to cancer].”
Newest member to SLG, Jocelynn Heard enjoyed relay because it was completely new to her.
“I think it’s really cool,” Heard said. “I didn’t know about it before but I’m glad I know about it now. It’s a really fun experience.”
For their fundraiser at the event, SLG offered a hair and nails station where participants could choose either pink or purple nail polish and get their hair straightened or curled. SLG also held multiple silent auctions for items including two breast cancer quilts, free small pizza vouchers to Domino’s Pizza and a free night’s stay at Comfort Inn while selling Breast Cancer t-shirts. SLG made over $300 at the event from their fundraisers.
While relay for life is a time of celebration and fundraising, it can also be a very personal and emotional time. Many people relay for a purpose and with a loved one in mind; the sisters of Phi Mu can speak to this first hand.
Kelley Jackman, Phi Mu campus activities chair, stated that this year her sorority’s participation in relay for life was for one of their sisters currently battling the disease.
“[I relay] mostly for one of my sisters recently diagnosed with breast cancer,” Jackman said.
According to Jackman, three or four weeks ago they found out that their sister, whose name she chose to withhold, was suffering from breast cancer and the ladies all sprung into action to help her. Within days, they had a t-shirt design and began raising money to assist their sister with medical costs. The pink shirts read “Faithful Sisters Fight” and “Sisters are Forever”.
Phi Mu had already signed on to do relay before they knew of their sister illness but once her diagnosis was disclosed to them, the event meant so much more.
“Its crazy because she was on the committee raising money for relay and now she needs it for herself,” Jackman said.
For their fundraiser, Phi Mu offered participants the chance to get henna tattoos, face paint, glitter paint all while selling the “Faithful Sisters Fight” shirts to benefit their sister.
As a whole, CMU’s relay for life surpassed their fundraising goal twice resulting in a grand total of $62, 298. The original goal was $50,000 and once that had been surpassed, it was raised to $60,000. These sorority women aided in that goal and helped make a huge impact on the research efforts of the American Cancer Society.
By Danielle Cook