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Every October a sea of pink pours over the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s campus to raise awareness of breast cancer and much of the effort comes from sorority Zeta Tau Alpha.
The annual tradition of hosting a spaghetti dinner to raise money toward education and awareness of breast cancer started two years ago.
The dinner will be held this Friday, Oct. 25, on Oakland Avenue at St. Thomas More University Parish, which will be donating the space to the sorority.
“The first year we hosted the dinner we ended up raising $1,700, and last year we raised $2,500 with the help of selling T-shirts in the Oak Grove, Keri Georgilas (senior, pre-physical therapy) said.
This year, before the spaghetti dinner has even taken place, the sorority has raised about $1,900, Georgilas said. That number was reached through selling T-shirts in the Oak Grove and “Pink Week,” a week filled with carnival games, corn hole, framed pictures in the Oak Grove and “Kiss Away Cancer” goodie bags.
“We hope to raise over $3,000 this year. If every sister sold the 8-ticket minimum, then before going to the public, there should be 288 tickets sold already,” Georgilas said.
Various local businesses located in Indiana, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia along with ARAMARK have provided the event’s food. Yoplait, the primary Breast Cancer Awareness month sponsor, is providing yogurt as well.
Breast cancer plays a big part in the sorority in more aspects than just as the focus of their philanthropy. Ashley Lupro (junior, criminology) said many sisters are overcoming the disease right now.
“My grandmother recently passed away last April, and while going through the pledging process, I realized that ZTA was where I needed to be. It is such an overwhelming experience raising money for a cause that so many women in the world experience in their lifetime as well as friends close by,” Lupro said.
On Friday, the sorority will be selling pink ribbons for guests to buy to display on the “Pink Wall.”
Megan Johnson (junior, nursing) said this arrangement is her favorite part of the spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
“Each guest who buys a ribbon can write on the ribbon who they raised the money for, who is still fighting the battle and people who they know who have lost the fight,” Johnson said. “This experience is the most rewarding part of being a part of the philanthropy. Individuals come up to you and thank you for changing lives with this money.”
Numerous groups on campus have dedicated their time to raising money towards breast cancer during this month, such as Paranormal Society of IUP and Bras for a Cause.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and a free raffle ticket provided with each purchase of a spaghetti dinner ticket at $5.