Breakfast for Bruce

Breakfast for Bruce

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Today I took part in something great and truly extraordinary; something that touched hearts. Today, I felt like I made a difference and I know many people who shared in my experience would say the same thing.

As many of you know, most likely from my previous blogs, I am a sister of the wonderful and amazing Delta Sigma Tau sorority. Today we held Breakfast for Bruce. This event was a benefit breakfast in memory of one of our sister’s father who passed away from cancer not too long ago. The breakfast took place this afternoon from 3 – 6 p.m. at a church next to campus. The breakfast included pancakes, sausage, bacon and hash browns. We had many themed raffle baskets at the benefit including Pampered Chef, sports and movies. Hundreds of raffle tickets were sold.  The purpose of the breakfast was to remember our sister’s father and raise money for her family. It is amazing to see how much support we received from the Mount Union campus for this event. Many students bought tickets and came out for the event as well as faculty and staff members, community members and even some families of students. In addition, campus organizations even supported this event through monetary donations or devotion of time at the event. The outcome of the breakfast was wonderful and exceeded our expectations!

It truly is remarkable to see what can happen when a campus can come together to support a cause. I, along with the Delta Sigma Tau sorority, would like to thank everyone for supporting our event and helping to make a difference. Thank you!

What Christmas Is All About

What Christmas Is All About

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As the Christmas season rolls in and the countdown to the holiday’s final arrival is slimming, it’s important to take a step back and realize just what this holiday is about. Over the years, and especially now in today’s world, the holiday of Christmas has become more about material things … getting gifts, after gifts, after gifts and fulfilling almost every want on your Christmas list that has been building since August. It seems that this holiday is about buying and ultimately, spending money. The media has made Christmas into a holiday that revolves around materialistic wants and wishes. People spend hours shopping for the perfect gift for each individual on their list and spend way more money than is needed. People then receive gifts that are more of a want than a necessity and are things that will be worn every now and then or played with once or twice, never to be touched again. But in reality, this newly-made materialistic holiday is not what Christmas is about.

Christmas, yes is a holiday of giving, but not in the way that the media presents. The type of giving it entails is the giving of time and help to others, focusing more on helping others than you and spreading kindness. Christmas is about helping those less fortunate and less well off in order to provide them with a better holiday season. Many people in the Alliance community and even around the world cannot afford to have an extravagant Christmas, as some cannot even afford food or daily necessities needed to survive. Some cannot afford more than a few presents if any for Christmas. So during the holiday season, it’s important to give to these people rather than giving all to yourself, as they need things more than you do. It’s important to help make everyone have a wonderful Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas should never be forgotten and it definitely is not here at the University of Mount Union as many organizations on campus are doing their part this holiday season.

For example, my sorority, Delta Sigma Tau, supports the Alliance for Children and Families as one of its philanthropies. The Alliance for Children and Families is an organization that is committed to helping children, individuals and families lead lives of stability, self-sufficiency and enhancement. ACF provides a shelter for the homeless and assists in helping people obtain housing that may have trouble doing so. This Christmas season, we are conducting a toy drive and raising money in hopes of providing a better Christmas for the children and families that live at the shelter. Many children at the shelter do not know Christmas like you and I do. The children at this shelter receive items such as shampoo, conditioner and other daily necessities as their Christmas presents, and they are ecstatic! They are full of joy and happiness by just receiving these items as presents. They have no idea what it is like to actually receive a toy or some type of play item as a present. Our goal as a sorority is to give the children a much better Christmas and provide them with the feeling of what it’s like to receive a fun present. They deserve to experience a wonderful Christmas.

Additionally, the Mount Union Honors Program and Honors Council spent time making Christmas cards for geriatric patients. Many patients at local hospitals and nursing homes do not receive holiday cards or even visits from family members during the holiday season, so receiving a card wishing them a warm and wonderful holiday shows that someone cares. It shows that someone is thinking of them somewhere. These cards brighten the holiday season for the patients and bring a smile to their faces that may not have been present in a long time.

Both of these examples spread the true meaning of Christmas. So I challenge you to sacrifice a few hours of holiday gift shopping and involve yourself in some activity such as these, as these are the types of activities that everyone should try to take part in this holiday season. And you do not even have to do something this big. You can do something on a much smaller scale such as simply baking holiday cookies for an elderly neighbor or volunteering to wrap gifts at a local mall. You can even pick up a gift for someone who needs it most while out doing your holiday shopping or just wishing someone a “happy holidays.” If more people took part in activities such as these this holiday season, no matter how big or small, imagine how many people would experience a better Christmas, how many more smiles would exist and how much better of a place this world would be to live in.

The video that goes along with this blog is just another way to help someone out and it truly displays the true meaning of Christmas. I know you will enjoy it, so please watch it!

I hope you find some way that you can spread the true meaning of Christmas this holiday season.

Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes

Families Don’t Always Share The Same Genes

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At Mount Union, the word family is a defying characteristic. When you think of the word family you often think of your mom or dad, an aunt or uncle, basically someone who is related to you genetically. However, the word family can represent a group of people who are in no way connected genetically. They didn’t come from the same town, same high school or even the same state. The word family simply connects the group of people through the strong bonds formed between each person and the valuable relationship they all share. The term family applies to the Mount Union campus in many ways as the campus as a whole is one big family made up of many intertwining families. These intertwining families possess their own special characteristics, which make them unique and set them apart from the others. Some examples of intertwining families are Greek life, residence life, student-led organizations and each grade level themselves. One intertwining family that is especially important to me is the Delta Sigma Tau sorority family, which is apart of the Greek life family.

As you probably know from my biography, I am an active sister in the Delta Sigma Tau sorority. To me, my sorority is my family – my home away from home. This past week in the sorority was “I” week, also known as initiation week, in which many new ladies became sisters of the sorority. Just as the Delta Sigma Tau family is a sub-family of the Greek life family, there are also sub-families in the Delta Sigma Tau sorority. The families in Delta Sigma Tau are made up of active sisters taking a new little each fall during initiation. Last Thursday, during “I” week, one of these new babies joined my family by becoming my little. A little is somewhat like a child or little sister. Taking a little is a process that many sisters in sororities and brothers in fraternities take part in at least once during the time they spend as active members. As I am only a sophomore, this was the first little that I have taken. My little is Alyssa Betro, a freshman at Mount Union.

Becoming a big is something special that cannot be fully understood until taking part in the process. It comes with many new responsibilities, experiences and opportunities. It gives you the chance to help someone and guide him or her through the college years. It gives you the chance to always be there for someone and make him or her know that he or she is never alone. It gives you the chance to create an unbreakable bond with someone based on love and friendship. It gives you the chance to make a difference. Becoming a big is truly a wonderful experience that I would not trade for the world.

Scaring Away Childhood Cancer

Scaring Away Childhood Cancer

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6n53CIi_Zo&feature=youtu.be

I hope this video had as much of an affect on you as it did on me.

Every year, Mount Union holds an event on campus called Up ’til Dawn, which is an event that is held on college campuses all throughout the United States to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event is in two parts – a letter writing campaign in the fall and then the actual “Up ’til Dawn” finale in the spring. All organizations on campus are encouraged to take part and write as many letters as possible in order to raise the most amount of money.

This year, Delta Sigma Tau sorority and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity started their fundraising efforts before the event by putting on “Haunted House on the Hill,” a haunted house. All proceeds from this event will go to St. Judes. It took place this past Saturday and Sunday evenings and really did prove to be quite a scare! The picture below are all the “scarers” for the two nights… they scared me and I knew who they were the whole time! This is a very early recommendation to make your way over there next year if you didn’t get the chance to go this year!

Anyway, back to the actual event. The letter writing campaign is in the fall, and this year is taking place this Wednesday. This part is a really open-ended event, usually starting around 4 p.m. and ending around 9 or 10. Now, it’s called letter “writing,” but really you don’t have to do ANY writing of letters. When you arrive, prepared with addresses of people to send these letters to, you are given pre-printed letters and envelopes from St. Jude’s.

The letters explain what Up ’til Dawn is and what St. Jude’s Hospital is all about. All you have to do is fill in the “Dear ___________,” sign each letter, write addresses on envelopes (or slap on an address label if you planned ahead) and write on your return address. It is recommended that you write 30 letters, but any amount is OK and definitely appreciated.

A lot of students opt not to take part because they feel that most people they would send letters to wouldn’t donate anyway. All I have to say about that is… could you honestly say no these children’s faces, their families’ struggles and St. Jude’s unwavering support?

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

“The Haunted House on the Hill”

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Halloween brings about the words scary, candy, trick or treating, costumes, ghosts, witches and pumpkins.  However, on Mount Union’s campus Halloween also brings about the words St. Jude, helping others, service, raising money, and giving. This year, the Delta Sigma Tau sorority and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity joined together to spend their Halloween weekend in a much different way than most people do. Instead of dressing up in costumes and spending time with friends, they found a way to make a difference. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega put together a haunted house to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital seeks to advance the treatment and prevention of cancer and catastrophic diseases in children.

The sisters and brothers put weeks of preparation into this event, which was known as “The Haunted House on the Hill.” The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house, which is located on the Mount Union campus next to Bracy Hall and across from the Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center (the library), was transformed into a haunted house. Friday and most of Saturday, was spent decorating the house, setting up each haunted room and getting all aspects of the haunted house ready for business.

Following the set up, the house appeared as if it was a real haunted house that many people go to each year during the Halloween season. It took about five minutes to go through the whole house and in my opinion was scary! I know I screamed many times when I went through it! The haunted house was open to the community on both Saturday and Sunday night from 6-9 p.m. The admission fee was $3 and there was also a refreshment table featuring assorted cookies, cider and hot chocolate. Donations also were accepted, and over the course of the two nights $579.78 was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This truly was a remarkable event that raised a good amount of money for a great cause. The sisters of Delta Sigma Tau and the brothers of Alpha Tau Omega made a difference during their Halloween weekend!

The Big C

The Big C

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Creative, captivating, caring, colorful, cool, corny, confident- these adjectives may all describe someone who is fighting the fight of his or her life… breast cancer. The most appropriate word to use to describe these individuals, however, is courageous. Courage is found in the simplest of things: a child who stands up to a bully on the playground, a middle-school student who asks a girl to the dance or an 18-year-old going off to live on his or her own for the first time, but courage for these women (and men!) is more than shaking off a few jitters; they are fighting for their life. Courage for them is laughing when they only feel like crying, showing off their beautiful baldhead and moving forward when they’re so tired they could lay in bed for days. This is the true picture of courage.

This past Sunday, Delta Sigma Tau, along with quite a few other organizations from campus, traveled to Canton to participate in The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. It is a 5K walk that is held every year at various locations throughout the country and contributes millions of dollars each year to exactly what its name implies: making strides against breast cancer. On the website, it indicates that in 2010 alone, $60 million dollars was raised by 800,000 walkers. A handful of Mount Union students were a part of this cause last year, but a much larger number of people participated this year.

It was such a moving experience to take part in this event and it is safe to say that everyone who attended and walked will most likely be heading back to walk the 3.1 miles again next fall. Arriving for registration at 9 a.m., we drove into a world of pink. The signs were pink, the banners were pink, all the clothes were pink, the tents were pink… even some dogs were painted pink! We saw babies as young as a month old and women in their 70s. All of us were there from different backgrounds, for different reasons, but striving toward one common cause. Emotions ranged from sadness, joy, grief and triumph but the overarching emotion was definitely hope. Hope for the future, hope for remission, hope of one day finding a cure. Bald women threw their head back and basked in the sun, in the simple glory of life. Whole families walked as a strong front, remembering a loved one who lost her battle. People who had no personal connection to breast cancer, walked to show their support and in their own small way, strive for the cure.

For 75 minutes, a crowd of people walked, shared stories, laughed, cried and even lost themselves in their own thought. For just over an hour, everyone put aside his or her differences and was a supporter, a wave in the larger sea of pink crashing toward the not-too-far-off shore of finding the cure.

Mixing Up Some Fun

Mixing Up Some Fun

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All the movies portray college as one big beer fest; frat parties, sorority parties and just plain old parties are the objects of the media most times. Aside from this being a completely inaccurate portrayal of college life, especially here at Mount Union, we as a campus work harder towards the mature management of alcohol instead of hosting the best parties in the United States (like some other schools in Ohio).

GAMMA is a major organization on campus that works toward this common goal. Their acronym stands for Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, which means that members are from the sororities and fraternities on campus, but their influence extends beyond the Greek community. This organization puts on a variety of events throughout the year that do just what their name implies, advocate mature management of alcohol.

One of these events, and arguably one of the largest, is a mocktail competition. This competition took place this past Wednesday and drew quite a crowd. Any organization on campus is encouraged to create a mocktail and compete. The goal is, in the end, to show that alcohol isn’t needed to have a good time and enjoy beverages that are varied and pretty tasty. This year there were a large number of mocktails created, tasted, judged and voted upon. There were trophies awarded for most members in attendance and people’s choice and prizes were awarded for first, second and third place. The group that won most members in attendance was Delta Sigma Tau. The picture to the right is just a few of sisters of DST with their mocktail.

I, along with a friend, headed up the mocktail concoction for Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity that I spoke about in my last blog. Our drink was based around Breast Cancer Awareness since it’s October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). APO decided to make a drink to advocate for this cause because of the sheer amount of cases of breast cancer being diagnosed each day, each month and each year. Did you know that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes? That means, in the time since you began this blog, a woman has been given a diagnosis that will change her life forever. Wow. That’s crazy to think about. THAT’S why there is a whole month dedicated to education about this cancer and THAT’S why APO chose this cause.

The drink we chose to make is called the “Pink Boobie Saver.” It may be a funny name, but people did come over to look and raised awareness on our campus.

Here’s the recipe in case you want to join in on the wholesome, non-alcoholic fun!
2 parts white grape juice
2 parts cranberry juice
1 part frozen pink lemonade
1 part sparkling water
Ice