Standing in thirty-degree weather with whipped cream splattered across their faces, the KU chapter of Theta Phi Alpha (TPA) raised money in support of Jean Shapcott, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) who is battling stage 4 liver cancer.
With help from the KU Greek Life, students and faculty, the fundraiser made a donation of $441.70.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, TPA hosted the “Pie a Theta to help a Zeta” event from 2 – 4 p.m. on the McFarland Student Union Building (MSU) lawn. The sisters of TPA volunteered to be pied with a plate of whip cream for a price of $2 per pie.
TPA was informed of Shapcott’s diagnosis from the Greek Community over winter break. ZTA sisters changed their Facebook profile pictures to a photo of the Little Mermaid with the words, “Zeta Forever by your side. Jean Shapcott You are Never Alone,” printed next to it as a sign of support.
TPA then planned the event at the start of the spring semester with approval from ZTA’s president.
“[‘Pie a Theta’] was a fundraiser done a few years back, and [TPA] wanted to think of something that could be planned and completed to help Jean out as soon as possible,” said Jessica Brygier, a junior communication studies major and TPA Secretary and Philanthrophy Chair. “So getting pied and pie-ing each other seemed like a great way to quickly raise money.”
Within a few weeks, flyers were distributed throughout campus, a Facebook page was created and the United Greek Council helped advertise the fundraiser.
“We didn’t have a set goal; we were just hoping to get as much money as we could,” said Breana Martin, a senior communication studies major and TPA New Member Educator Chair. “But with such short notice, the time of the event and the cold weather, it was a great turnout.”
According to Martin, TPA members gathered together their own money to purchase whipped cream. An estimate of 25 – 30 cans was used throughout the event.
Donations were made out by check and recently mailed to Shapcott’s family to help cover treatment expenses.
“We weren’t raising money for ourselves; we came together for someone else in a time of need and everyone stepped up,” said Martin.
Additional campus organizations will host fundraisers for Shapcott throughout the remainder of the semester. On Saturday, March 9, the KU Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi will collect money on select highways through the help of Haydenfilms.
KU’s Bear at Night is also hosting “Origami Night” on April 5 at 7 p.m. in South Dining Hall. Students are invited to help create 1,000 origami cranes in support of Shapcott. The cranes will be hung up in the MSU atrium lobby.
“We are here to help our community and help those who are less fortunate than us,” said Brygier. “In this situation, the cause that we wanted to help was a member within our Greek family here at Kutztown, and the fact that many organizations came out to support, shows that at the end of the day, we are all one.”
By Marianella Orlando