Sisters of Phi Sigma Sigma hosted their 24-hour Rock-a-Thon philanthropy event Nov. 12-13 in Sneaky Park and had members of the sorority rock in rocking chairs to raise funds for the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation, which benefits the Kids In Need and Practice Makes Perfect foundations.
The sorority collected $162 during the event and $200 on its GoFundMe website. The funds will be dispersed to the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation, which benefits school and college readiness.
The women sold food and drinks like nachos and coffee, and raffled off Yoobi school supplies at 50 cents a ticket to raise funds.
“Growing up, my parents were always able to supply me with everything that I needed for school, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone,” said Gabriela Duque, a sophomore accounting major.
“So I think it’s a relatable charity since we are all college students,” she said.
Throughout the night the women had various events such as happy hour with alumnae where “mocktails” were sold.
Throughout the day, they also held a scavenger hunt, a large game of trivia and a movie marathon that started at 10 p.m. All students were invited to partake in the events.
“We are a group of women trying to be leaders within the community, hosting events for philanthropy and trying to empower one another,” Duque said.
Tables were set up in the park with markers and slips of papers for students to drop by and write words of encouragement that will be passed out to middle school students in the Inland Empire.
Alexis Cabello, a senior business administration major, joined the sorority in spring and said the women act as a constant support and networking system.
“I saw girls in my major that I’ve known since my freshman year grow to be more confident and strive for more and I asked them what their secret was and they said it was their sisters, so I decided to rush,” Cabello said.
The sorority switched its charity focus to school and college readiness after previously working with the National Kidney Foundation. The women rocked in memory of the patients who went through chemotherapy.
“We decided to keep the rocking chairs because it’s just a long standing tradition that we’ve had and people look forward to this event every single year,” said Jasmine Bush, a senior kinesiology major and philanthropy chair. “Whether they know what the rocking chairs stand for, people just see it as a symbol of philanthropy and we explain to them that we’ve shifted our philanthropy.”
Bush said she was thrilled when the sorority decided to shift the focus of their philanthropy to education.
“It made me appreciate my education more and really want other people to experience all the things that we’re experiencing,” Bush said. “In essence, I wouldn’t have been able to join a sorority if I wasn’t in college and I wouldn’t have been able to go to college if my parents didn’t push me so hard. Those are some of the characteristics I try to instill in our sisters here.”
There were four women rocking at all times during the philanthropy event. Each sister was asked to rock for a minimum of two hours and share their GoFundMe account on social media.
Gabriella Chikhani can be reached at email@example.com.