Students Give in Service to Make A Difference

Relay for Life participants do a lap at Embry-Riddle Prescott.

Forty-degree temperatures will not stop cancer, nor does it stop Embry-Riddle students from walking all night in the Relay For Life while raising over $3,300 and increasing community awareness to save lives from cancer. 

“It was extremely cold and we still had people walking the track, which was super inspiring,” said Jordan Savoy, junior in Mechanical Engineering and President of Cancer Charities Cooperative on campus. “We had 15 teams sign up with almost 100 students at the peak and even a survivor participating by Facetime!” 

Survivors and a student at the Relay for Life

Savoy’s participation in Relay For Life began in high school when she realized 17 family members and friends had been impacted by cancer. Here at Embry-Riddle, she founded Cancer Charities Cooperative on campus to get students more involved in finding a cure and increasing awareness. In addition to Relay For Life, the group also supports Love Your Melon, Pinky Swear Foundation, and CureSearch charities. 

“Relay was a great event and next year it will be even better,” said Savoy. “The committee had a ton of people want to join after being at the event, so we should grow in strength next year. Our goal for next year is $5,000 and everyone seems ready to make it happen!” 

Many students cite philanthropy and community service as key components in the student experience at Embry-Riddle. In the fall semester alone, the nine Greek organizations on campus accumulated almost 2,000 volunteer hours, which averages out to a full day of volunteering per member. Since July 2015, the Med Club logged 851 hours and the Honors Student Association (HSA) has 608 hours. 

Students lighting HOPE for the Luminaria ceremony at the Relay for Life

“We have made numerous connections in the Prescott community with organizations such as Project Linus, Habitat for Humanity, the Spot Museum, Prescott Great Outdoors, and many, many more,” said Melissa Collins, senior Aerospace Engineering and President of HSA. “Volunteering has the added benefit of not only making the volunteer feel good about giving back to the community but it also shows everyone we interact with that the Embry-Riddle family cares about the community we reside in.” 

Savoy agrees. “This campus is good about giving back to the community. And the community is really good about giving what they can when they can,” she said. “It’s so rewarding! My hope is to see even more people get involved.” 

For more information about Cancer Charities Cooperative, contact Jordan Savoy at savoyj@my.erau.edu. Donations for Relay For Life are still being accepted at www.relayforlife.org/embryriddleaz 

For information about Greek philanthropy, contact Charles Zeller, Assistant Director of Student Activities at zellerc@erau.edu.


Sisters of Chi Delta Chi at the Relay for Life

Chi Delta Chi Sorority

What organizations do you support?

Our primary philanthropy is Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD). It was selected because of strong ties within the founding class. Many of our girls either struggled with eating disorders themselves, or knew others who did. We wanted to help raise awareness, as well as help others learn to accept themselves and accept others as they are. 

What was your last activity?

February 23-March 1 was National Eating Disorder Awareness week. During this week, we held an awareness event in which we encouraged people to take the pledge to Accept Themselves and Accept Others. We passed out purple ribbons to those who took the pledge. We also hung posters across campus throughout the week with encouraging messages on them! 

We will host another awareness event in the fall!  

Students representing Chi Delta Chi at the Relay for Life

Chi Delta Chi
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How does philanthropy add to your ERAU experience?

Our philanthropy really enables us to raise awareness about eating disorders across our campus. College campuses have seen an increased rate for eating disorders over the past several years. Anyone can suffer from it, regardless of gender or age. An incredible amount of people come out every year to take the pledge and raise awareness about this issue. You see it make a real difference. 

Since starting Chi Delta Chi, I have seen so many people open up about their eating disorders. Many of our sisters have suffered from it and they are willing to share their stories to help others. I have seen these women work with others to conquer their eating disorders; from creating a proper diet to making a workout plan and everything in between. We created a support system, where people feel as though they have someone to talk with. It is truly amazing to see. 

Madison Landry
Chi Delta Chi President


Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority

Alpha Sigma Tau marches at the Relay for Life

What organizations do you support?

 Our national philanthropy is The Pine Mountain Settlement School, which supports environmental education on sustainability. It was started in an area relatively close to our national headquarters.

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Our local philanthropy is breast cancer awareness. When our chapter was founded, one of the sisters' family members had breast cancer. So it was chosen as an issue close to our hearts. As well as we typically get assistance/help from the wellness center staff, as it is an issue that hits close to home for them as well. 

What was your last activity?

Our last activity was a bake sale to raise money for cancer research, which was very successful!

We have completed all of our philanthropic activities for this semester. However, we will have a philanthropic activity during Fall Recruitment, so the first week of September. 

Alpha Sigma Tau and their Save the Tau Taus poster at the Relay for Life

How does philanthropy add to your ERAU experience?

Philanthropy allows our sisters to unite over a common cause, as well as gives us an opportunity to be passionate for something outside our campus family. 

We have many sisters and those who have come to us during philanthropy week who have come out about having breast cancer in their family and how it has affected them personally. We always appreciate hearing another’s struggles and triumphs; it is important for others on our campus to know that they are heard.

We also had a sister whose aunt was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and was really struggling with the medical bills. So as a group we threw together a bake sale back in February and raised almost $500 dollars for her. It was awesome to see the direct impact of our efforts on an individual and their loved ones, as usually the money goes to a large charity.

Makenna Stockham
President


Theta Xi Multiple Sclerosis blowup at Embry-Riddle Prescott.

Theta Xi Fraternity

What organizations do you support?

Our two National Philanthropies are Habitat for Humanity and NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society). Our fraternity chose the NMSS because Multiple Sclerosis is a strange and rare disease that causes the joints to tighten, similar to arthritis. Those diagnosed with MS have trouble walking and performing activities. Our fraternity likes to help raise money for NMSS and also help at the Walks that the organization does around the nation. Habitat for Humanity is another great organization Theta Xi has chosen to work closely with. Habitat for Humanity works to provide housing and other necessities for those less fortunate.

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What was your last activity?

NMSS held one of their many MS Walks at Yavapai College on April 9th. We helped set up for the event such as marking the trail and getting the tables ready. A few of us manned the registration tables and helped register the participants before the event. We even helped people finish the walk and assisted those who had MS to cross the finish line. 

We had an event April 16th at a Habitat for Humanity Restore where our members helped assist the shop with its organization and other needs. 

Theta Xi member holds We're Stronger Together t-shirt.

How does philanthropy add to your ERAU experience?

Our philanthropic efforts allows us to help those who are not as fortunate as us and those who also struggle with the horrible disease. Being involved with the community outside of the university is very important for those of us at ERAU. It allows us to help change the lives of many people for the better. The fact that we are making a difference in people’s lives and giving them hope is inspiring, and this is a feeling that keeps us grateful and inspired to continue to help.

On April 9th, two of us got to meet Quinn, a very sweet lady who was diagnosed with MS in 2008. We helped her finish the walk and got to hear her story. Listening to her was hard. You could feel the emotion in her voice as she shared her experiences in her life. Hearing her testament and story was heartbreaking, but the compassion she expressed to us was amazing. She said that we made her day just by helping her finish the walk to give her company. 

C/SFC Matt Bandusky
ERAU Army ROTC
Theta Xi Fraternity, President


Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

Pi Kappa Phi Chili Cook-Off at Embry-Riddle Prescott

What organizations do you support?

We support The Ability Experience. Pi Kappa Phi is the only national fraternity that owns and operates its own philanthropy. The Ability Experience, formerly Push America, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves people with disabilities. The Ability Experience was founded in 1977 as the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. Although the organization is still fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended, The Ability Experience has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit with numerous programs educating undergraduates, alumni and communities about the abilities of people with disabilities.

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The Ability Experience’s mission is, “We use shared experiences to support people with disabilities and develop the men of Pi Kappa Phi into servant leaders.” which has been fulfilled for more than 35 years. The Ability Experience’s vision is to “Create a community, one relationship at a time, where the abilities of all people are recognized and valued”. Through programs of all kinds, participants display The Ability Experience’s four core values (abilities, teamwork, empathy and integrity) while serving others. Although the funds raised are invaluable, just as important is an increased awareness of the amazing things people with disabilities can do, as opposed to focusing on what they can’t.

What was your last activity?

We recently hosted our ability week with events to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities.

Pi Kappa Phi charity group shot at Embry-Riddle Prescott

Monday — Spread the Word to End the Word. We took pledges from all over campus for people to stop using the derogatory use of "retarded".

Tuesday — We began our 72-hour bike-a-thon to raise awareness and donations for people with different abilities.

Wednesday — We hosted our chili cookoff to raise money.

Friday — Pie-a-Pi Kapp where people could pay money to pie one of our brothers, with the proceeds going to The Ability Experience.

Next semester, we will be working with the Prescott Special Needs Activities Program to help with programing for people with different abilities.

How does philanthropy add to your ERAU experience?

Working with people with different abilities is so rewarding. Most times when we volunteer we go into it thinking that we are going to make a difference. However, we always walk out being changed more by them. 

The biggest impact that I've personally seen is helping out with Prescott SNAP. Last year, I got the opportunity to help out at their Valentine’s Day dance. It was such a cool experience to just go out there and have a great time and dance the night away with these amazing people. To see their faces light up, it’s so amazing. Being able to make someone smile and have a great time is the most rewarding thing!

Wade Smotherman
Pi Kappa Phi


Sigma Chi Fraternity

Sigma Chi chapter holding their flag at Embry-Riddle Prescott.

What organizations do you support?

Our national organization has partnered with the Huntsman Cancer Institute to become the generation that ends cancer. Our chapter has also committed to this cause. As a national organization, we recognize that all Americans are affected by cancer at some point in their lives, and we aim to end cancer entirely. Sigma Chi has partnered with brother John Huntsman and his organization to find a cure to end cancer, find safe and more effective treatments, and better understand and prevent cancer. 

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Sigma Chi — Kappa Phi also supports the local YMCA. We believe that this organization is a vital part of our community, and it helps strengthen, enrich, and vitalize the lives of the members in it. 

Individual members of our fraternity have also made time and monetary contributions to the Yavapai Humane Society, Dogtoberfest, the local Salvation Army, and to the Granite Creek Clean-Up over the past year. 

What was your last activity?

Our last major philanthropic event was our annual Derby Days. This is our fraternity’s main philanthropic event that directly benefits the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the local YMCA. During the weeklong event from the 10th-15th of April, teams of female students partnered with our brothers to compete against one another in challenges and to fundraise for the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the local YMCA. Some of our events included a penny fundraiser, an auction, a scavenger hunt, and hide and seek all based around our theme: the Derby 500.  

Sigma Chi charity at Embry-Riddle Prescott.

Our next major planned philanthropy will be our next Derby Days, which will probably take place in the spring. This will again include teams competing against one another as well as an open donation option assisting our chosen philanthropies. 

How does philanthropy add to your ERAU experience?

Philanthropy adds to our ERAU experience by bringing us closer to the University and the community. We work closely our fellow students to benefit causes we truly deem just, and we could not do it without the support of Embry-Riddle and our fellow students. Additionally, by working with our peers, we are brought closer to them, by helping our community together, and it immensely enhances our collegiate experience. 

Our chapter has been both blessed and cursed by the human-interest stories attached to our philanthropies, primarily the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Many of our brothers have been directly affected by the loss of loved ones to cancer. It helps to know that we are doing everything in our power to help end the fight against cancer permanently. Our efforts were renewed after meeting a beneficiary of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, who happened to be one of our brothers, this past February at our annual provincial meeting. His testimony detailed the work being done by the Huntsman Cancer Institute and he inspired us to help continue to save lives and restore families. 

Kody Raymond
President of the Sigma Chi — Kappa Phi Chapter