In 1998, Alpha Chi Omega sister, Elizabeth Mary Pernel, was murdered, in Meriden, CT, as a result of a domestic dispute.
Today, Pernel’s fellow sorority sisters continue to remember her through their philanthropic efforts of aiding battered women.
“This tragic incident makes the cause of domestic violence very close to our hearts, and we are driven to raise more funds each and every year,” said Janelle Ingrassia, Alpha Chi Omega philanthropy chairperson.
One way in which the girls plan to financially contribute to such victims is by hosting Frisbee Fest, on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. in the quad.
“All the money that we raise from this event will go directly to the Domestic Violence Shelter of Greater New Haven,” said Rachel Khalifa, the sorority’s vice president of fraternity relations.
Over the past five years, Alpha Chi Omega has organized an event called the Frisbee Fling, but this year the affair will offer many differences.
“We decided to call it Frisbee Fest because it will be much more like a festival,” said Khalifa. “We want everyone to participate so along with the Frisbee games we are throwing a carnival, which will include lots of food, music, and raffles.”
Raffle prizes will include a ping pong table, a foosball table and four Yankees tickets.
In addition, other activities will include a dunk tank, in which participants can pay one dollar to dunk a sorority sister of their choice. Similarly, there will be pie fights between the sisters and those who attend.
In the past, the sorority would raise its money by asking each girl to have two friends, family members, or local hometown businesses sponsor them by donating money for the event.
Also, people would have to pay five dollars per team in order to take part in the ultimate Frisbee game.
“Last year, we made $6,000 that we donated,” said Khalifa. “Our goal for this year is to reach $8,000.”
Several of the sisters think that Frisbee Fest will be beneficial to the campus and to the Hamden/New Haven community as a whole.
“The Frisbee Fest will raise awareness of the devastating effects of domestic violence,” said Kristin Paolella, a senior gerontology major and historian of the sorority.
“This event is also the fruit of our hard work to raise money for the shelter,” she continued.
Many sisters also believe that the event will make the campus more knowledgeable of what their organization is about.
“Since Greek life is such a small percentage on campus, no one really is aware of the good things we do,” said sister, Ashley Thomson.
“We are also involved with the Boys and Girls Club in the area, and we are in the process of doing other charity events within the New Haven/Hamden area,” continued Thomson.
Besides hosting the annual Frisbee game, the members of Alpha Chi Omega will be organizing many other events to help raise awareness and money for victimized women.
With the month of October being “Violence Awareness Month,” the sisters will be providing tables in the student center where a mass collection of canned foods, clothes, and donations will be gathered to give to the residents of the shelter.
Also, the girls are making plans to schedule a self-defense class and a guest speaker that will give a lecture entitled, “Fight for Survival.” This discussion will be based on personal experiences with domestic violence.
Ultimately, the members of Alpha Chi Omega are hoping to aid victimized women and teach the Quinnipiac community about the effects of household abuse.
“We work really hard and we take great pride in helping people,” said Khalifa. “Our goal is to educate the entire campus about domestic violence.”
“We seek to make a difference in the lives of individuals and the communities in which we live,” said Ingrassia. “It is our hope for the future that needless acts like these will no longer happen.”