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AXO hosts fundraiser to increase domestic violence awareness

Courtesy+of+Frankie+Angelone+via+InstagramMembers+of+the+Alpha+Chi+Omega+sorority+pose+during+their+philanthropic+event+Pizza+Pie+with+Alpha+Chi+on+Friday.+The+event+was+to+raise+awareness+about+domestic+violence+and+proceeds+went+to+Emerge%21+Center+Against+Domestic+Abuse%2C+a+local+shelter+for+domestic+violence+victims.

Courtesy of Frankie Angelone via Instagram

Members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority pose during their philanthropic event Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi on Friday. The event was to raise awareness about domestic violence and proceeds went to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, a local shelter for domestic violence victims.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority hosted its first-ever food-oriented philanthropy event at the UA on Friday to bring attention to domestic violence.

“The purpose of this event [was] to spread domestic violence awareness and how it is such a prominent issue in our community,” said Ana Maldonadl, a family studies senior.

Entrance to Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi was $5, and everyone received a soda and two slices of homemade pizza provided by Alpha Chi Omega’s team of chefs. Katelyn Connors, vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega and an elementary education senior, said the money raised from the philanthropy event will be donated to a local shelter for domestic violence victims called Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

“We want everyone to have a good time, but at the same time we want them to walk away knowing they did something and that they took the pledge to end domestic violence,” Connors said. “I think we are giving a voice to something that isn’t talked about very much.”

According to Emerge’s website, it is committed to improving and expanding services to all members of the community who are experiencing domestic abuse. Its mission is to provide the opportunity to create, sustain and celebrate a life free from abuse.

“There are so many resources out there and so many struggling with it that if we give it a voice, maybe we can lessen that struggle,” Connors said.

Connors said domestic violence is not an easy topic to talk about, and Alpha Chi Omega wants to give a voice to this growing concern.

“This is not just an Arizona issue; it is a nationwide issue,” said Caitlyn Sprong, a chapter consultant for Alpha Chi Omega.

According to the Emerge website, about 31 percent of women in the U.S. will report physical or sexual abuse by a partner in their lifetime, and over three women are killed every day by either a husband or boyfriend.

According to an article in the Center for American Progress, 6,410 women were killed by a boyfriend or husband who used a gun during the years 2001-2012, which is more than the number of U.S. troops killed in combat during both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

In the spring, Alpha Chi Omega will also host its second annual Lyre Games. The games are an obstacle course event for every organization on the UA campus to attend. Teams will be formed and will compete in the various obstacle courses. Whichever team has the fastest time wins.

“I think UA students will benefit from coming to the event because not only will they have fun, but they will also learn about a problem that is really big in our community, and hopefully they will get educated towards the importance of spreading awareness,” Maldonadl said.

This event will also benefit the sorority’s philanthropy, and proceeds will go back into the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation.

“We want to make sure our women are sending a positive note towards what our philanthropy is,” Maldonadl said.

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Follow Katelyn Caldwell on Twitter.

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