AXO Casino Night raises awareness for domestic violence

By Maegan White

Elm Staff Writer

Alpha Chi Omega hosted their annual Casino Night on Friday, Oct. 21 in the Casey Academic Center. This event concluded their week long Purple Out Week to support their national philanthropy, domestic violence awareness.

On Monday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in Norman James Theatre, AXO collaborated with Cleopatra’s Sisters for a screening of a domestic violence awareness documentary film, “She Wins: Beyond the Bruises.” The film featured two Washington College alumni, one of which was an alum of Cleopatra’s Sisters.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, the sisters of AXO organized a Purple Out game for the Shorewomen’s Field Hockey game against Haverford at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium. They encouraged all participants to wear purple to the game to show their support for domestic violence survivors.

In addition to the events, they tabled in Hodson Hall, handing out candy and pins, and informing students about their philanthropy.

According to AXO Vice President of Philanthropy senior Emma Russell, each chapter picks a local organization to support for their philanthropic activities.

“Alpha Chi’s philanthropy is domestic violence awareness and our headquarters encourages the chapters to focus their efforts on small, local domestic violence organizations,” Russell said. “We always support Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, which is a local shelter that serves the five counties of the eastern shore.”

President senior Asia Webb said that support ties into the importance of their philanthropy on the campus and in the local community.

“I think our impact on the community with domestic violence is that it gives people awareness,” Webb said. “I want to make sure we give community to those who feel like their voices are silenced in their relationship and make sure they know they have support.”

The main event of the week was the chapter’s annual Casino Night. This year’s theme was Wonderland and the sisters wore headbands and hats on theme.

Students dressed up in their best cocktail dresses and suits, and others came dressed in costume.

Tickets to the event included 10 poker chips to play games. Guests could also buy more chips throughout the event.

Guests could turn their chips into raffle tickets for a variety of different boxes which had been donated by local businesses.

Each table featured a different game, including poker, black jack, Texas hold ‘em, and roulette. The dealers for each game were composed of AXO sweethearts, sisters, members of fraternities, and even WC alumni like Jack Despeaux ‘18 who volunteered to deal poker after attending a Casino night when he was a student.

Senior Lanning Tyrrel said he volunteered when AXO reached out to all the fraternities asking for dealers.

“They had asked around the fraternities to see if any of us would volunteer and help out and I thought it would be fun,” Tyrrel said. “[Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence] does a lot of great work and I have heard lots of great things so I was excited to help. Every year Alpha Chi does a great job helping them out.”

According to Russell, helping their philanthropy is a mission that AXO has to balance with ensuring that the event is enjoyable.

“I want people to have fun but also know that their money is going to help survivors over very serious issues. I want people to have a good time and know that their money is going to something good,” said Russell. “Part of our responsibility is educating the campus community so I am also hoping that we can do that while having people enjoy themselves.”

The event ended with a speech from Russell and Mid-Shore Victim Engagement Specialist Allie Hanes who expressed the organization’s appreciation for everyone’s support.

AXO Vice President of Risk Management junior Abigail Collins served as Russell’s right hand man, helping with decorations and sitting in on catering and budgeting meetings.

She said that she appreciated everyone who came out and supported AXO’s philanthropy.

“I wanted to give a big thanks to everyone who came out to Casino Night. We really appreciate everything,” Collins said.

AXO raised over $2,000 this week and all funds will go towards Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence. In the spring they will host Healthy Relationship week and their “Walk-A-Mile” event to benefit their philanthropy.

Photo by Mia Snyder

Photo Caption: Volunteers, sweethearts, and sisters ran the games, one of which was roulette.

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