Delta Sigma Pi organized an American Cancer Society Gala in the Tudor Room of the Indiana Memorial Union on Friday. Donors purchased tickets with a suggested donation of $30, though many attendees donated more, according to Delta Sigma Pi’s fundraising page.
“We got about $2,000 from the IU Funding Board, which meant we were able to donate more after splitting with budgeting,” said Joe Sartorio, vice president of Delta Sigma Pi community service, said. “Were able to donate more than in previous years.”
The fraternity was able to raise a total of $5,635 to donate to American Cancer Society and cover the cost of the gala.
Statistics from the American Cancer Society say an estimated 569,490 people died of cancer in 2010 and the number has increased by 26,200 deaths to an estimated 595,690 in 2016.
However, Melissa Pressler, community manager of American Cancer Society, said the number of lives lost to cancer will hopefully fall as more people survive each day with help from the fundraising efforts.
Sartorio said after one of the brothers at the fraternity was diagnosed with cancer, the house wanted to do something to support him.
“That’s how we chose the American Cancer Society as our spring project,” he said.
Guests began arriving up to half an hour before the event and filled the atrium of the Tudor Room with greetings and introductions while they munched on hors d’oeurves and drinks.
Between speakers, Another Round, an a cappella group, sang “How Deep is Your Love,” “Fake Love” and “Stand by Me” , followed by a live string quartet, during a buffet dinner courtesy of the Tudor Room Dining Services.
The gala featured live entertainment, a cash bar, hors d’oeurves, dinner, a silent auction, photo opportunities with the ACS “Hope” sign, guest speakers and a luminary ceremony in memory of those lost to cancer.
Cheryl Hughes, a cancer survivor and one of the speakers at the gala, spoke from personal experience to explain why support is important.
“Cancer has gone through my family like a wrecking ball,” Hughes said. “I was diagnosed with cancer on June 12th and I remember thinking, ‘I don’t have time for this. I have other things to do.’”
Hughes described how her family and students rallied around her to support her through her treatments. She urged those feeling afraid or unsure to realize just how important community is to treatment.
“Instead of being scared, look around this room,” Hughes said. “See just how many people are here to help. They will hold your hand and see you through.”
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