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AXO organizes philanthropy events to combat domestic violence

The+Alpha+Chi+Omega+sorority+house.
Brandi Walker

The Alpha Chi Omega sorority house.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority plans to utilize October, the official Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to support and educate about domestic violence awareness. The sorority officially kicked off its efforts Monday.

“We believe our cause is special because we are women helping women, and we are able to see our impact here in our own community,” said April Keenan, a senior studying pre-law and psychology and vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega.

Keenan said Alpha Chi Omega will have a table on the UA Mall throughout this week to display facts about domestic violence and educate UA community members.

In addition to educating the public, Alpha Chi Omega also hosts a luminary event in October to honor those who have fallen victim to domestic violence, according to Keenan.

There have been 84 reported domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona since Sept. 30, according to the data on the Arizona Coalition to End Domestic Violence website. These victims will be honored at the luminary event Wednesday at 7 p.m. in front of Old Main, Keenan said.

Alpha Chi Omega donates 80 percent of the money raised from philanthropy events to Emerge!, according to Taylor Towne, a nutritional sciences junior and member of Alpha Chi Omega.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, “85 percent of domestic violence victims are women … [and] boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.”

Keenan also said the sorority hosts two main philanthropy events to support domestic violence awareness every year: the Lyre Games and Pizza Pie with Alpha Chi. She said they hold these events to raise money for donations to the local domestic abuse treatment center, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

Keenan said this year, the Lyre Games may involve kickball.

“Lyre Games is a week-long event that’s in the spring, generally March or April, where we do different contests through the week,” Keenan said. “This past year we did ‘make the change’ boxes, where fraternities would collect change for donation. It all led up to the main event where the fraternities form different teams to participate in a head-to-head obstacle course.”

Keenan said the sorority also participates in events throughout the year, such as Healthy Relationships Week in February, to promote healthy love.

“Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is important to me because of the direct impact it has in our community,” Towne said. “One in every three women are affected by domestic violence in college, and by supporting awareness for this cause, we are helping potential friends, roommates and classmates.”


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