At its annual “ChiHop” pancake breakfast fundraiser Saturday, Hillsdale College’s Chi Omega sorority served more than 200 people, raising $1,450 for charity through ticket sales and donations.
The $1,450 is only part of the $6,000 Chi Omega hopes to raise this year, Chi Omega Philanthropy Chair sophomore Claire Gwilt said. According to Jennifer Cleary, development coordinator for Michigan’s Make-A-Wish branch, the funds will cover more than half of the $10,000 needed to grant one wish for a child.
The sisters of Chi Omega commit themselves to community, campus involvement, and service to others, values that have inspired them to partner with Make-A-Wish Michigan for the last 15 years, Gwilt said.
Through fundraisers like the pancake breakfast, Chi Omega has financed the dreams of children like 17-year-old Skylann, a Michigan high schooler suffering from Budd-Chiari Syndrome, a possibly life-threatening disease that narrows and blocks veins in the liver.
Make-A-Wish shared Skylann’s story with Hillsdale’s chapter of Chi Omega to show who the sorority will be helping, though, as a national organization, it cannot direct donations for specific wishes, Cleary said. Skylann, however, will visit the sorority at some point this semester.
While the money raised at ChiHop may not be granting Skylann’s specific wish — a “She Shed” outdoor pool hangout — the funds will go to a similar cause, encouraging a family dealing a life threatening disease.
“Skylann is into music, so a She Shed is a place she can listen to her favorite bands, watch TV and movies, and hang out,” Cleary said. “She will always be dependent on someone her entire life. It’s an opportunity for her to have her own space.”
Nationally, Chi Omega has raised around $17 million for Make-A-Wish, since the sorority held its first fundraiser for the charity in 2001.
“Chi Omega is one of our biggest college supporters by far, without a doubt,” Cleary said.