Alpha Omicron Pi sisters walk for juvenile arthritis

By Ava Turner

Elm Staff Writer

On Saturday Oct. 24, Washington College’s Alpha Omicron Pi sisters hosted a Walk-A-Thon to raise funds for their philanthropy, juvenile arthritis.

For every ten dollars donated, a sister participating in the event would then walk a mile. 

According to junior Sydney Voelbel, an Alpha Omicron Pi sister, the event was a success, having “raised [a total of] $2,300” in donations, exceeding the goal of $2,000.

Sophomore and sister Maegan White walked 14 miles for juvenile arthritis and did some of the walk in an inflatable dinosaur costume, of which she posted a video of on her Instagram account.

“Thank you all for how you donated to this amazing cause,” White said.

“Also, seeing kids get so excited about a dinosaur in the park was so precious and I would… do it again,” she said.

According to the Alpha Omicron Pi Instagram page, juvenile arthritis is, “An umbrella term used to describe the inflammatory and rheumatic diseases that develop in children. Nearly three hundred thousand children in the U.S. have some form of juvenile arthritis.”

According to their Instagram page, “There is a serious lack of pediatric rheumatologists in the US,” and 11 states lack any board approved pediatric rheumatologists. “This has very serious consequences for thousands of children with [juvenile arthritis].” 

A pediatric rheumatologist is a certified pediatrician that specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of arthritis and like diseases.

Voelbel said that funds raised from the Walk-A-Thon are being donated to pay for a conference being held for children with juvenile arthritis and their parents, and to help fund arthritis research as part of Alpha Omicron Pi’s philanthropy.  

Voelbel said that other ways the sorority supports their philanthropy is through events such as an annual rose sale, with all funds raised going towards juvenile arthritis, and a blue week, which is a week of fundraisers and events for promoting education, support, and raising funds for juvenile arthritis.

However, she stated that there will not be another philanthropy event for Alpha Omicron Pi this semester. 

Updates on future events will be posted on the Alpha Omicron Pi Instagram.

According to Arhtritis.org, “there is no cure for [juvenile arthritis], but with early diagnosis and aggressive treatment,” there is a possibility to mostly deactivate symptoms or the activity of the disease. 

Alpha Omicron Pi’s philanthropy is to fund this kind of research and promote education on juvenile arthritis. 

According to their Instagram, “during 2017-2019 [Alpha Omicron Pi] chapters and members raised one million seven hundred fifty thousand dollars for the arthritis foundation for research and education.”

For more information on juvenile arthritis, visit Arthritis.org or the Alpha Omicron Pi’s Instagram @aoiisigmatau.

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