Alpha Omicron Pi sorority “goes blue” to fundraise for juvenile arthritis

By Evie Kaye

Elm Staff Writer

Throughout the week of Oct. 2, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi Sigma Tau hosted “Blue Week,” a week of blue-themed events, to fundraise and educate Washington College on juvenile arthritis.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, Juvenile Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and joint pain in children ages 16 and under.

In a post made on Sept. 13 from the WC Alpha Omicron Pi Instagram page, the sorority posted the list of events to get ready for their upcoming Blue Week.

They captioned the post, “AOII supports children who suffer from Juvenile Arthritis with a week of fundraising and education every year.”

Sophomore Jessica Borders, the Director of Philanthropy for AOII, sent an informative email to the school Sept. 25 for blue week. In her email she said that “Blue Week is a week full of fundraising activities” to support the sorority sisters’ “philanthropy, juvenile arthritis.”

In Borders’s email she informed WC that all funds raised during Blue Week will go to the National Arthritis Foundation and that the donations will help fund Juvenile Arthritis research.

Borders ended the email saying that she and all the sisters want WC to know that they are so grateful for the College community’s participation in Blue Week 2023.

The funds will also go towards a conference for Juvenile Arthritis patients and their families, to help the patients make friends with other patients and educate families on how to care for them.

Blue is the color that represents juvenile arthritis. Accordingly, AOII put together quite a few blue-themed events for the cause, such as a “buy and wear blue” event that took place on Tuesday Oct. 3, where blue shirts were sold in Hodson Hall by members of AOII.

The students were not the only people sporting blue this week; WC’s George Washington statue in front of Hodson Hall was dressed with blue boas and streamers around his neck for the occasion.

AOII also put out raffle tickets for gift cards and did pre-sale orders on Krispy Kreme donuts in Hodson Hall.

Coinciding with WC’s homecoming weekend, the sisters held an ice cream tailgate Saturday, Oct. 7, selling ice cream at Kibler Field, amongst other homecoming activities.

Other events included pieing AOII sisters and faculty on Wednesday, Oct. 4, writing cards to Juvenile Arthritis patients on Thursday, Oct. 5, and a foam party that took place on Friday, Oct. 6.

At the “Pie a Pi” event, students threw pies at AOII sisters and other faculty members at Martha Washington Square. Alongside AOII sisters, some of the faculty members who got pied included Tricia Biles, assistant dean for student engagement and success, Antoine Jordan, director of student engagement, and Greg Kirkorian, dean of students and title IX coordinator.

Freshman Katherine McMenemy was looking forward to seeing students get pied, specifically her friend, SGA President, Miranda Parrish.

At the Pie a Pi event junior Heather Moffit, a member of AOII, said that the event was “just a fun way to get people to come out to support cause.” She added “Who doesn’t want to pie Greg Kirkorian and Antoine Jordan in the face.”

According to Moffit, she believes that “people don’t realize how much juvenile arthritis actually affects people.”

Moffit relayed the fact that juvenile arthritis is a condition that kids never get cured of.

“If we support blue week, and we support this cause, then we are supporting these kids hopefully becoming pain free at some point in their lives,” Moffit said.

Sophomore Kate Stevenson, another AOII member at the pie event, wants the WC community to know that the condition is “not just something that impacts older generations, it impacts the children. That’s what AOII sisters want to put the focus on,” she said.

Photo by Evie Kaye

Photo Caption: During the “Pie a Pi” event, WC students were able to pie members of AOII. Pictured above is Elm Copy Editor and Zeta Tau Alpha’s Delaney Runge.

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