Alpha Omicron Pi’s Blue Week contributes to fight against juvenile arthritis

By Heather Fabritze
Elm Staff Writer

Two weeks ago, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi Sigma Tau chapter kicked off their main philanthropic fundraiser for the year, their annual Blue Week.

Blue Week lasted from Monday, Oct. 4 to Friday, Oct. 8. One event was scheduled for each day all of which involved opportunities for fundraising.

The entire Washington College campus was decked out in support of Blue Week. Decorations included blue ribbons in Hodson Hall, chalk writing promoting the various events on the Cater Walk.

According to the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi, the total proceeds of the week are donated to the Arthritis Foundation to help fund juvenile arthritis research, conferences for children with juvenile arthritis and their parents, and the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital in Wilmington, Del. The sisters hoped to also raise a total of $1,100 on Crowdchange to contribute to the fight.

The first event of the week began on Oct. 4, with Alpha Omicron Pi sisters discussing the struggles of juvenile arthritis at a table in Hodson Hall. They also handed out goodie bags filled with blue-themed candy to any passersby who stopped to chat or ask questions.

The day after featured their Pie-a-Pi event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. under the tent behind Hodson Hall, where participants could pay money to pie rotating sorority sisters in the face.

Oct. 5 and 6 featured a bake sale in Hodson Hall and the chance to purchase blue refresher beverages and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, respectively.

The week finished off on Friday evening with a “Spike Out Arthritis” volleyball tournament and a bonfire with s’mores on the field by the Quad.

According to senior and President of Alpha Omicron Pi Jelisaveta Agatonovic, scheduling the game and bonfire as the final events allows for the sisters to “reflect” on the week and sort out final gifts for kids struggling with juvenile arthritis.

Last year, the sorority virtually hosted Blue Week despite the pressing issues of COVID-19. Junior and Alpha Omicron Pi Philanthropy Chair Victoria Allen was unsure if it would be possible to host it in-person this year.

“I think the hardest thing about planning this year was not knowing if we would still be here,” Allen said. “Because it’s very hard to plan something, and put money into something, and put time into something, then to potentially have it ripped away by having to go home.”

The process of planning the events, finding locations on campus, and organizing all that Blue Week had to offer involved a lot of extensive, “hard work,” according to both Allen and Agatonovic.

It’s also important to Agatonovic that the work they put into Blue Week shows other students that the philanthropy they do extends past the boundaries of WC.

“I think it’s really important that we show people that Greek life is more than just an organization,” Agatonovic said. “We’re just a sisterhood, like we actually go above and beyond for our community and try to be better for everyone else around us and ourselves. So, just kind of educating everyone that there are bigger things out there in the world than just our small WC community.”

Allen agrees and hopes that the week will emphasize to non-Greek life students that there is something greater connecting the sisters together than what many expect.

“I think it’s a nice way to bond us together,” Allen said. “I know there’s a lot of stereotypes about Greek life and I personally didn’t know that each Greek life organization has something that they sponsor… I just didn’t really know that that was an aspect and I think it’s really nice because it gives us something to kind of do together to fight towards.”

Both Allen and Agatonovic look forward to other philanthropic contributions they can make as the year progresses and encourage WC students to continue getting involved with future Alpha Omicron Pi events

The Crowdchange is still accessible for students interested in donating.

Photos by Sammy Jarrett

Proud Alpha Omicron Pi sisters junior Lily Warren and sophomore Isha Sehar running a table in Hodson Hall to educate students about the struggles of juvenile arthritis.

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