Club & Greek

Alpha Xi Delta “Lights it up Blue” for Autism

todayEvery year Alpha Xi Delta (AXiD) holds their annual “Light it Up Blue Week” around campus in honor of National Autism Awareness month and their national philanthropy, Autism Speaks. 

The first week of April the sisters host many different events on campus to help raise money for Autism Speaks.  According to the Autism Speaks website, “An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.”  

Autism Speaks raises money to support the research of Autism in hopes of supprting the individuals and families affected by the disorder.  AXiD hosts a variety of different events on campus throughout the first week of April to help give back to the organization.

This year, the sorority hosted three different events throughout the week. The first was a “Kissing Booth.”  The sisters handed out blue ribbons and Hershey kisses with different facts about Autism on the bottom in exchange for donations.  The sisters were able to raise money for a great cause and also spread awareness and statistics on the disorder.   

For the second day of “Light it Up Blue Week” AXiD hosted an event called “Pie a Xi.”  Everyone on campus was able to come out and donate to the cause and got a chance to pie a sister in the face.  Ali Hart, a sophomore and the sorority’s philanthropy chair, was thrilled with the turnout of day two.

“The second day was the most successful,” Hart said. “Everyone came out to pie one of our sisters for $2 and it was a lot of fun!” 

The last day of “Light it Up Blue Week” consisted of a bake sale.  The sorority members sold different baked goods in support of Autism, some of which were even shaped as puzzle pieces and dyed blue.  All of the proceeds that were made from the bake sale went to the Autism Speaks foundation as well. 

A lot of planning and preparation went into this year’s Light it Up Blue Week in order for it to be as successful as it was.   

“Preparation takes about a week once we have our ideas planned,” Hart explained. “We had to make a lot of ribbons to hand out to people on campus, we had to tape on facts about Autism to the bottom of every Hershey kiss, and we had to have other sisters bake goods for the bake sale.”  

Katelyn Basile, a sister of the University’s chapter of AXiD, has a personal connection to Autism and it is something she holds very dearly to her heart.  One of her family members is affected by Autism and she enjoys seeing the different events her own sorority holds year after year for the cause during April. 

“Seeing all of the fundraisers around campus every April is amazing,” Basile said. “Outside resources can be expensive for families and knowing the money Alpha Xi Delta raises will go towards spreading knowledge and bringing these families together in their journey is heart warming.”  

On top of all of the events held on campus during the week, a selected group of sisters travelled to New York City to continue to spread awareness for the cause.  They were invited to appear on the “Today Show” with sisters of AXiD chapters around the area to show their support for the cause and to spread awareness. 

“It was great being able to travel to New York City to continue to spread awareness for Autism.  It was amazing to know that we could not only spread awareness on campus, but all over the world as well,” said Vanessa LaRocca, a junior elementary education and anthropology major.  

Throughout the week, the University’s chapter of  AXiD was able to raise $336 on campus for Autism Speaks.  Traci Marren, the sorority’s Chapter Advisor, was very happy with the week.

“I was thrilled with the amount of time and effort the girls put into “Light it Up Blue” Week,” she said. “They were able to spread awareness for Autism Speaks and were able to donate all of their proceeds to such a great cause.” 

PHOTOS COURTESY of Victoria Porter