Alpha Xi Delta puts the spotlight on autism

Samantha Tuly

There was an overwhelming buzz in Cartwright Hall as 23 fraternities and sororities gathered to participate in Xi Man Friday.

Xi Man is a fundraising event, presented by the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta, benefitting Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization.

“It’s not just raising money. It’s raising awareness,” said Breanna Pertee, a junior exercise science major and Alpha Xi Delta sister. Pertee has been involved with Xi Man for two years and was a former chair of the event.

The event involves sororities and fraternities in a series of skits based on the overall theme of the event the ‘90s. Sisters of Alpha Xi Delta coached each sorority and fraternity. Individual groups chose a specific theme and practiced to perfect their performances. Group-specific themes ranged from “Toy Story” to “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.”

Pertee explained the event surpassed the expectations of Greek students “goofing off” on stage, as each skit was required to relay facts and statistics about autism and its affect on society.

“One in 88 children are affected by autism,” Katie Clarkin, a senior French major and the vice president of programs for Alpha Xi Delta, said. “Autism is something that touches a lot of people’s lives, and that’s why it’s really important for us to raise awareness and fundraise as well.”

Alpha Xi Delta is known for its efforts to raise money for Autism Speaks. All proceeds from Xi Man go to the advocacy organization.

“Last year we raised over $23,000, and this year we’re aiming a little higher,” said Rachel Molnar, a pre-speech pathology and audiology major and a sister of Alpha Xi Delta. Sisters of Alpha Xi Delta aimed for $30,000 as this year’s fundraising goal.

At the end of the evening, the women of Alpha Xi Delta stood on the stage of Cartwright Hall. Each sister held a poster that was to be turned in tandem to reveal the total proceeds from the evening.

The sisters turned the posters to announce a grand total of $23,333.36.

“Ladies, that doesn’t look right,” event chair Anna Lood, said.

The women of Alpha Xi Delta rearranged to report the true grand total that well surpassed their original goal: $36,333.23.

The event was formulated by the members of Alpha Xi Delta, sponsors and the support of the entire Greek community.

Contact Samantha Tuly at [email protected].