This upcoming week (Monday, September 17th through Saturday, September 22nd), the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority will be hosting their annual Blue Week. This week’s events are raising not only awareness, but donations for the Arthritis Foundation. AOII Sigma Tau, the chapter established here at Washington College, raises money for Juvenile Arthritis specifically.
Senior Virginia Parker, one of the co-chair of Philanthropy for AOII, said that “Juvenile Arthritis impacts around 300,000 children in the United States, and those kids experience childhood very differently from others. We want to give them the resources to cope with their condition.” One of AOII’s focuses this year is the “Champion of Yes” slogan. This inspires children struggling with Juvenile Arthritis to know that they have the strength and support to cope with their diagnosis.
The money that AOII Sigma Tau raises thorough philanthropic events also goes to JA education. One thing they focus on is helping kids affected by the disease get the help they need not only physically, but emotionally. Teaching them helpful strategies for keeping their joints in motion has inspired an annual event for AOII: the “Joints in Motion” yoga class! “Yoga can be used as a therapy for people with arthritis,” said Parker. “A joint in motion tends to stay in motion, so yoga is a low-impact activity that can help ease the pain of the joints and promote movement and flexibility.” This year’s yoga class will take place on the campus green at 9 AM Saturday morning. Dr. Moncrief, head of the English department and a certified yoga instructor who often teaches at the Seed House, will lead participants in a beginner’s Vinyasa flow class. The class will be offered at a donate-what-you-can rate. Parker says that “big or small, any donations can help change a child’s life.”
Other events held during this week-long celebration are the Blue Out Men’s Soccer Game, where AOII will support Washington College’s Shoremen at their Wednesday match while also raising awareness and funds through concessions, a Chik-fil-A sale Monday during lunch, a lollipop raffle, and even a dunk tank Friday during Club Fair. The sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi hope to get a large turnout for all of their events. Parker says that she hopes this week helps educate and inspire members of the Washington College and Chestertown communities to support Juvenile Arthritis research. “Blue Week is a really great way to get involved in an important cause that people may not be fully aware of,” Parker said. “Most people picture arthritis as an older generation’s problem, and that’s why this cause is so close to our hearts. Kids get arthritis, too, and they deserve to live their lives without pain.”
Below is a calendar for the events of Blue Week.
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Photographs compliments of Alpha Omicron Pi, Sigma Tau