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Pi Beta Phi is com­bining advocacy and excitement at their upcoming Phi Fest, a phil­an­thropy event to support lit­eracy. The event is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Tess Skehan, Pi Beta Phi pres­ident, said the purpose of the event is twofold. 

“We received a large donation to our house and we were able to build a memorial fire pit and patio,” Skehan said. “We wanted to have a chance to invite the campus over to check out our new fire pit and hang out with us, but also to promote lit­eracy.” 

Hillsdale’s Michigan Alpha chapter is incor­po­rating Pi Beta Phi’s inter­na­tional lit­eracy ini­tiative with their “Lemonade for Lit­eracy” stand at the fest. Skehan encourages stu­dents to sip some lemonade and support Pi Beta Phi’s partner orga­ni­zation, Read > Lead > Achieve. 

“This semester specif­i­cally, we are con­cen­trating more on the advocacy role of our chapter,” Kristin Freeman, Pi Phi phil­an­thropy chair, said. 

That focus on com­munity involvement is exactly what Pi Beta Phi hopes to inte­grate into Phi Fest as their first public event, according to Skehan.

The sorority’s lit­eracy efforts reach toward national and local goals, fur­thering the latter with projects like First Book, a national non­profit that pro­motes edu­cation and lit­eracy. According to Skehan, Pi Beta Phi and First Book have donated more than 3.5 million books together. 

“There are a lot of pro­grams outside of Pi Phi that are related to lit­eracy, Buddy Reading and things like that,” Skehan said. “Kristin really pro­motes that to our girls.”