By Hanin Sukayri
The Zeta Rho chapter (founded in 1992) of Phi Sigma Sigma, an organization with 109 active chapters across North America, ranked number 17 of the Top 50 Organizations that raise the most philanthropic funds, has organized “Rock-A-Thon”. An event that has taken place every semester for 24 hours in the past. However, this time around, Phi Sigma Sigma has organized the event to be 32 hours, where at least one sister from the chapter will be on every rocking chair, making sure that four chairs are rocking at all times.
“This is something that we want to make huge so to help out with it we are having a pie eating contest, a three legged race, a sack race, and a bake sale with all the types of goodies that people would think of when it comes to fall,” said Jennifer Spain, the Organizer of Rock-A-Thon.
Along with sisterhoods, and tasteful Greek letter designs, these sisters have not only managed to be a big part of the community, but also managed to make a difference in Upward Bound— a college preparatory program, and the Jimmy Fund— an organization that raises funds to aid cancer patients and research. In fact all funds raised in Rock-A-Thon will be going towards the Upward Bound Program.
When asked about the event, Spain said “I want to say that I was motivated to do this because it helps students in the Upward Bound program progress from where they are. As a future teacher, I want to see students rising to their full potential and exploring the options that are presented to them in life so that they can grow up and be happy and successful. “
Being heavily involved with philanthropic work as such, Phi Sigma Sigma is witnessing the kind of difference they make in the community, as many of those who were once a part of the Upward Bound program do or have in the past attended Fitchburg State University.
Jenna Krysko, the President of Phi Sigma Sigma said “I feel that Phi Sig is a group that is very community focused and it’s a group of girls that doesn’t do things for others in order to get attention for it. We’re not really that type to try to over publicize it or do it for the sake of getting credit we do it because we genuinely enjoy who we help and especially considering that we help a group that’s on campus, we are seeing directly who we’re helping so it just motivates us that much more to do things for those kids.”
The events that are held by the organization come with the help and support from the community of Fitchburg State University. Krysko gave a good example of this by showing how much the community supported an event that was held last semester. Phi Sigma Sigma organized an event called “Book It 4 Boston”, an opportunity for people to make a difference and sign up for a 4k walk/run with a chance to win Red Sox tickets, this event alone raised 1,500 dollars for the OneFund organization.
In response to the events, Krysko said, “Being a small campus it can be hard to put the word out as far as we’d always like to but a good example of the community supporting us would be last spring when we did Book It 4 Boston, we received donations of items for raffles or just monetary donations months in advanced for our OneFund event…. Within the campus community, absolutely we are supported by other Greek Life Organizations, clubs on campus and teachers. ”
For a more in depth experience of what was conveyed above about Rock-A-Thon and a chance to contribute to a greater cause through this organization, one can visit the quad of Fitchburg State University on the days of October 16th and 17th.