Alpha Omicron Pi uses Mardi Gras to raise funds for arthritis foundation

Alpha Omnicron Pi's 2019 Mardi Gras Parade
Alpha Omnicron Pi's 2019 Mardi Gras Parade

Grace Cockrell/JSU
JSU Students march in the 2019 Alpha Omicron Pi Mardi Gras Parade

Patrick Yim, Special to the Chanticleer

In March, the sisters of the Delta Epsilon Chapter of  Alpha Omicron Pi gathered together with friends and community members to celebrate Mardi Gras. They also worked to raise funds for their organization’s national philanthropy, the Arthritis National Research Foundation.

What is the Arthritis National Research Foundation? The ANRF is a nonprofit organization that services to individuals dealing with the struggles of arthritis. They also work to research ways to combat the issue and hopefully find a cure.

While this is only the second year that the sorority has done a Mardi Gras festival and parade, they still received great support in their endeavors raising a finally total of 12,487 dollars, with twelve different individuals and organizations supporting in the parade, and 150 to 200 people in attendance at the parade and festival.

“Funds were raised in multiple different ways,” explained current philanthropy chair for the sorority chapter,” Taylor Anne Beckham. “Our main source of money came through Crowd Change donations; however, we also sold tickets for gumbo plates, and organizations paid to participate in the parade. The Mardi Gras King and Queen contestants also helped to contribute over 3,500 dollars to our overall amount raised. At the celebration, we sold raffle tickets, and families purchased bounce house wristbands, face painting sessions, and delicious cotton candy [made by the members].”

In their first year, the chapter raised around 9,000 dollars. This is a pretty sizeable accomplishment, especially for a first attempt.

“If we can increase our amount every year, I am confident we can impact the lives of many!”

When people come together for a cause, those on the outside sometimes wonder, why do they do it, is it worth it, or what’s the point? Here is what Beckham had to say.

“I personally believe it is important to pour love and compassion into your surrounding community no matter where you live. I grew up in a small Tennessee town where everyone worked together cohesively for the betterment of the community, school, and each other. I truly believe that one cannot succeed without the help of another! I want to give back not only to the Arthritis Foundation but also to JSU and the Jacksonville community because they have given so much to me!”

Whatever the cause may be, remember, that you can make a difference. The important thing is that you did something to help.

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