Fraternity holds pasta fundraiser for cancer research


(From left to right, across table) Rachel Udley (left), sophomore family social services major, Shelbey Lippeth, junior elementary education major, and Manas Chug, freshman biology major help serve food Wednesday night at the Relay For Life benefit dinner in the basement of the Newman Center.

By Newell Miao

Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity gathered students to raise money for Relay for Life through a pasta dinner fundraiser on Wednesday night.

Pasta, cupcakes and lemonade made by the brothers and sisters of Alpha Phi Omega was served alongside bread donated by Jimmy John’s.

The fundraiser was held at 6 p.m. in the Newman Catholic Student Center. The money being raised will be donated to the Relay for Life Foundation, which funds cancer research throughout the country.

Entertainment in the form of English rock songs like “Wonderwall” was performed by musician Daven Masulis. Charles Dominic Eleosida, senior business management major, was the primary organizer for the event.

“I think it’s very close to our hearts that we serve the community and also raise awareness for cancer and fundraiser,” Eleosida said. “They need funding for families who are suffering now to funding for research itself. I feel the government is not really helping in terms of going through research, like ‘We’re going to do this,’ ‘We can do this,’ or ‘We can prevent this,’ maybe we can find a cure someday. I don’t know. I feel like as a community this is something we can bring up to everybody and bring awareness to and the fact that we can relate to the cause draws us together and makes us united. I think fundraisers like this bring us together.”

Students continued to arrive and leave throughout the night with a total of 112 Facebook confirmed attendees, Eleosida said. Members from a wide range of organizations were present in order to show support, including the Delta Zetas, Delta Gamas, NIU Powerlifting club and the Southeast Asian Club.

“I really like the fact that it not only brings our fraternity closer together…you can see people up there wearing their [fraternity] letters,” said Kristin Strupp, senior physical therapy major. “We always invite other students at NIU, community members, other organizations. So it’s cool that they come out and they support something that’s for a good cause too.”

The importance of student attendance to such events reaches further than simply supporting fellow students, Eleosida said.

“Even though we’re just students we can make a huge impact on the world,” said Ashley Steward, senior physical therapy major. “It can take just the students at a university just to change something that’s so important to the entire world. Something simple as just a dinner.”

The students who do attend events on campus can also find benefits that are closer to home. Those who attend these events as a friend of a friend can expect to see potential personal gains as well, said Eduardo Cisneros, senior Spanish business translation major.

“Expose them to different organizations,” Cisneros said. “More people get to know more people and network. Eventually they can join that organization or a different one. They are inspired to do something else besides just study.”

Any organization that plans on utilizing the space in the Newman Center is more than welcome. Father Matthew McMorrow was the Alpha Phi Omega’s primary contact at the Newman Center.

“They come talk to me, or they give us a call and then we see if we have the availability in the building,” McMorrow said. “As long as it’s something that we think is for a good cause we’re happy to support any of the groups at the university.”

The Relay for Life event will be held April 12 to 13. Alpha Phi Omega fraternity plans to rais $5,000 to put towards finding a cure for cancer.