Tri-Delt and Phi Gam team up to fight cancerBy Jessica Ruffin | 04/08/2012 11:10pm
Two University of Alabama greek houses are working together this week to help a Birmingham hospital fight childhood cancer.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is dedicated to helping fight childhood cancer. Delta Delta Delta and Phi Gamma Delta will support the efforts of St. Jude with their annual Cookout for Cancer this Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Phi Gam house.
Tri-Delt’s philanthropy chair, Kelly Harris, is hoping to raise more money than ever before to support a cause that she feels is extremely worthwhile.
“St. Jude specializes in research and treatment for childhood cancer and never charges a family for anything past what their insurance can pay,” Harris said. “It costs $1.2 million a day just to keep the hospital open.”
For $5, participants can listen to music and eat hot dogs and hamburgers. However, Harris feels it’s important that guests know the cookout is not just a fun social gathering.
“In order to help people realize that the cookout is more than just a social event, we will have guests wear a hospital band with a patient’s name and condition,” Harris said.
Photos of St. Jude’s patients will be displayed around the lawn.
Harris also hopes the cookout will be successful this year in attracting participants from all across campus and not just from the greek community.
“The cookout is open to the entire University of Alabama community,” Harris said. “Helping raise money to prevent and treat childhood cancer is not something that only greeks should be passionate about, but every student on campus.
“We really want everyone to come and show their support for St. Jude and all the work they are doing to help children all over the world, even if they have no connections to Tri-Delt or Phi Gam.”
John Pickering, Phi Gam’s philanthropy chair, has enjoyed the friendships fostered between Tri-Delt and Phi Gam and hopes that many students will attend the cookout to support the cause.
“There’s definitely something special about doing something for a common purpose and this cookout is a simple, yet powerful example of that,” Pickering said.
Pickering went on to say that Tri-Delt and Phi Gam’s goal is to have 1,000 people attend the cookout. Junior Julia Parsons, a member of Tri-Delt, believes the cookout is important in raising both funds and awareness for St. Jude.
“It is a great time for all of us to come together, celebrate the life we’ve been given, and to be thankful for what we have,” Parsons said. “Knowing that this cookout raises money for the sick children at St. Jude is the biggest reward.”
Leighton Brown, a Tri-Delt senior, agrees that serving the children of St. Jude is rewarding and enjoys participating in an event every year that raises money for children.
“Getting the chance to make an empowering impact in those children’s lives every year is so rewarding and so worth it to me,” Brown said.
Students interested in purchasing a ticket may purchase one from any member of Tri-Delt or Phi Gam or at the door the day of the event.