As a follow-up to Light the Night, I received the nicest thank you note from Stacy! I couldn’t begin to paraphrase it, and I figured that by typing it, the words would lose some of their authenticity, so here is a scanned copy of the note…
Maybe it was an emotional day for me, but this note had me in tears. Thank you, Stacy!! Receiving this note from you really meant a lot to me, and I know that the other people you sent thank you notes to felt the same way that I did when I found it in my mailbox.
Light the Night is truly an Omega Phi Alpha memory that I will treasure always. “Why?” you might ask, “Wasn’t it just a walk?” Well, yes… It was “just” a walk, but it was SO much more than that. I loved meeting your family, especially your mom, and I was so happy that they were all able to attend this service project. The personal connection really made the project special to me, making it one of my favorites. Also, the amount of people involved and the amount of money raised by all of the teams is simply astonishing. This was in the email sent by Light the Night on November 10th:
Thanks to you we have raised over $1.2 million for blood cancer research and patient services!
Light the Night was a great success! I thoroughly enjoyed the night, and I think that everyone there had a great time as well. It was such a huge event, and I think that we are all excited to be involved again next year and inspired to do more!
During “for the good of the chapter” on Sunday night, Stacy told us that her mom loved the walk, and she told Stacy,“I like how you talked in front of people.” Stacy also let us know that she has some cool ideas for next year!!
When we first arrived, I was so happy to see that Stacy’s mom, dad, and brother were all able to attend the event. It was great to see them there in our lavender shirts right beside Stacy and Linda, aka “Stacy’s Mom” for the night. 🙂
I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all of our donors! Because of their amazing kindness and generosity, we were able to meet our fundraising goal and surpass it! As a team, we raised $1,510.00! That is $1,510.00 going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for treatment and research! I am so proud, and I think that next year we can make it even bigger- maybe we could move our goal from $1,000 to $5,000 or $10,000! I think that we could do it! Because I raised over $100, $231.83 to be exact, I got a free meal ticket, a t-shirt, and a red balloon to carry during the walk. (The balloon was kind of annoying me because it did not go straight up, so I let my grand-big, Liz, carry it. Thanks, Liz!)
As we lined up for the walk, I was shocked to see the amount of people there- as I said before, it was a huge event. It was much bigger than I anticipated it to be. There were so many people involved and it really felt great to be a part of something bigger. We started walking at a snail’s pace because there were so many people around, but we were slowly making it up the first hill. At the starting line, there was a woman announcing teams as they walked past. Most of the team’s were much bigger than ours and carried a banner with their team name. Because we didn’t have this for her to see, I squeezed my way through the crowd to get to the woman, and I started yelling, “Stacy’s Mom! Stacy’s Mom!” right in her face. (Yelling because the crowd and the music was so loud!) She announced it on the microphone and our team cheered! This may seem like a silly detail to some of you, but it is the small things like that that really made me feel like I was part of the night and the experience for Stacy’s Mom.
Our team’s spirits were high, and as we walked, Stacy tried to lead us in the chorus of the song, “Stacy’s Mom.” Hilariously, badly, we made it through the chorus, but that was about as far as we got… For those unfamiliar with the song responsible for our team’s name, here is the reference:
I decided to bring my puppy, Chloe, with me to the walk. I guess this was a good idea, because everyone loved seeing her and holding her. The only problem was that she never…. let’s just say “relieved herself” while we were at the park, and when we started to walk I could tell she really had to go! Unfortunately, it was not really the time or place for that because we were 1) on the streets of Atlanta and 2) walking along those streets with a large crowd of people. There were no places to stop and if we did, we would get left behind. Well, when nature calls, I guess that it wins, because we did end up stopping, and I tried to give Chloe ample opportunity to do her business in a planter. Kelly took a picture: (not sure what is up with that flash of light…)
Unfortunately, this was not the right place for Chloe, and she refused to do anything. Giving up, we had to run to catch up with our group as everyone by Kelly and Liz had kept walking. (It was so nice of them to stay behind with me so I wouldn’t get lost!) We did manage to keep up with the group after that, but Chloe was a little wiggle worm that would hardly stay in my arms! I kept trying to get other people to hold her so I wouldn’t have to… Not a very hard task with a cute little puppy in a group full of girls. 🙂
At the end of the walk, I hugged Stacy and her family goodbye, and we went our separate ways. I really think that Stacy’s mom enjoyed the walk- because Stacy told us that she did at chapter, but also because I could see it in her face. This was such a great night, and I think that it is one of my favorite Omega Phi Alpha memories!
I am very excited to report that as a team, we are much closer to our fundraising goal: We now have over $650! My grandbig, Liz announced our project at the Omega Gamma alumnae meeting this month, and our team website went out in the minutes. I hope that from this we can raise some more interest from our alumnae, both Alpha Zeta and other chapters around. Already, Liz and another Alpha Zeta alum, Jessica, have donated to our team’s page! I am very excited because my big, Kelly, and Liz are both planning on attending Light the Night. Hopefully both my littles will be able to come as well. It would be so awesome for my whole family to be there! (On a side note, last night we had a family dinner at a restaurant in Marietta! Unfortunately, Liz could not come because she came down with a cold, but the rest of us were there, and we had a great time.)
In order to raise more interest and awareness about Light the Night as well as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I sent out this message via Georgia View Vista to all of my classmates and instructors in all of my classes…
I wanted to let you know about a service project that I involved in through Omega Phi Alpha, a service sorority on campus. This year, we are participating in Light the Night through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of one of our sister’s mothers who has been diagnosed with Amyloidosis and Fibromyalgia. This year alone she has endured more than five surgeries, and she continues in her battle against these diseases. To read more about this cause, check out my blog: https://omegaphialpha.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/getting-ready-for-light-the-night/
If you feel led to donate, please go to this address: http://pages.lightthenight.org/ga/Atlanta11/TMcIntosh. Every dollar helps!
Thank you so much! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Surprisingly, I received some immediate positive feedback! Here is what one girl in my ENGL 3035: Language and Linguistics class replied: (This message was sent to all students and instructors as well.)
“Just as a side note: this is an amazing foundation that I work with on a daily basis to help my patients with funding of their chemotherapy treatments. They also help with daily life expenses, too. This foundation is amazing – support it! As someone who regularly uses them to get the support needed for my patients, I can honestly say they are the best.”
From my ENGL 3241: Technology and Digital Media in the English Language Arts Classroom class, I got this reply from one of my group members:
“Thank you for sending this, Teigan! My sister-in-law was diagnosed with 2nd stage lymphoma close to 2 yrs ago. Within the same wk, she also found out that she was pregnant! She started chemo in her 2nd trimester. My niece was born 10/1/10. She was told she would be unable to have anymore children and then in May she found out that she is now currently pregnant with twins! Because of her current pregnancy she is unable to know if the cancer has come back; we pray it has not. I think that this is a great service project and I will check out the link and donate what I can! Thanks.”
Also, in class, someone else told me that they were going to look into the organization and the event and that they would probably be able to donate to my page. I was overwhelmed with the positive response that I received from my classmates! Even if people are not able to donate, I am pleased that people actually read my message on Georgia View, and that they know what we are doing as a service organization. Also, this has already helped me get to know a couple of my classmates a little bit better- I had no idea that someone I talk to everyday has been so closely affected by this disease.
Another avenue that we are pursuing in trying to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, is by creating a partnership with a fraternity at KSU, Delta Chi. (They are a relatively new fraternity at KSU, so, in my opinion, this is a great time to start connecting with them!) A couple weeks ago, three of us went to their chapter meeting and presented our ideas to them about this service project. They seemed interested in the cause, and they expressed to us that they would be willing to help if they could, either now, with this specific project, or in the future with other service that we do. My little, Mei Mei, got the contact information for their Philanthropy Chair, and she emailed him more specific information today, along with a link to my earlier blog post regarding Light the Night, and our team’s homepage. Hopefully these conversations will result in a partnership. I think that this connection, and hopefully others to follow, will be vital for Omega Phi Alpha’s success- in all realms, whether that be service or fundraising. I have talked to other girls who were involved in sororities at other schools, such as UGA, and they said that the reason their fundraisers worked was because various organizations worked together. For example, if we were able to successfully build this connection with Delta Chi, we could attend their fundraisers and they could attend ours. We could collaborate on service projects and social functions. Unlike other social organizations, I am not looking to party and have “mixers” of any kind! That is not what Omega Phi Alpha is about. I am simply saying that building connections and fostering a professionally based community with other organizations on campus could only benefit those parties involved.
Saturday, October 15th was Alpha Zeta Chapter’s 5th birthday! We celebrated with our annual Founder’s Day festivities, but the night was extra special this year thanks to our amazing Sisterhood chair, Thi. She did a great job- I really enjoyed everything that she planned. She even prepared cute gifts for everyone who attended!
NOTE: With so much talk about the “alums,” I decided to look up the proper terms and found a great outline here. Apparently, we should not use the term “alums” for either men or women. This website says, “Use “alumna” for a woman. Use “alumnae” for a group of women.” So, I will try to follow this guideline…
Since this is my first active fall semester, this was my first time attending Founder’s Day, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I witnessed that night. There were so many beautiful actives and alumnae present that night! I was so grateful that all of them were able to attend- especially my grandbig, Liz! Hearing her tell the founding story was really cool. I will probably mess it up and leave out a lot, but I am going to try to recall what I remember of the story…
Liz loves Hanson. When she was younger, she had a website devoted to the group, and she had friends online that followed her website. Then, one day, she was able to meet up with one of her Hanson friends in person. Later, this friend, who attended Georgia Tech, started to tell Liz about a really amazing service sorority that she was involved in- Omega Phi Alpha. Liz thought that it sounded like something she would like to do, and she hoped that other students would be interested too. She got in touch with the Vice President of Expansions on the National Executive Board who told her that Omega Phi Alpha was not a good fit for Kennesaw. Convinced that she was wrong, Liz decided that she would keep trying. She was not going to take no for an answer! Finding that other students were, indeed, interested, she gathered a group of girls who wanted to start OPA at Kennesaw, and sent the list along with some facts about the KSU campus and community- KSU was no longer the Junior College of the past!- to the VP of Expansions. After quite some time, Liz got the go-ahead and continued her mission. Along with the other girls interested in OPA, she organized an information night for students to come find out what OPA was all about! The night was a success, and they got a whole list of girls who wanted more information! After this night got the ball rolling, Liz and the other founding mothers started to fulfill all of their colonization requirements. They had a lot of service projects to do, and they just kept working till everyone had filled their service requirements. With a lot of hard work and a lot of time, OPA was finally starting to take shape at Kennesaw State University!
I am so incredibly proud of my grandbig and founding mother, Liz, and all of the other founding mothers and alumnae for all that they have done! Without them, I would not be a part of OPA. It meant a lot to me to be able to attend Founder’s Day in order to honor them and celebrate our chapter.
I really hope that I will be able to get to know the Alpha Zeta Alumnae better through our service projects and sisterhood events. It meant so much to me that my big, Kelly, and my grandbig, Liz, were able to attend Big/Little Reveal, and that I was able to see Liz again at Founder’s Day. Also, I believe that both of them will be able to come to Light the Night on November 5th! I am probably most excited about that. I want to make sure that the night is a great success, for Kelly, Liz, and any other alumna who attend, because I want them to want to come to more service projects. I think that this will be the best way for the active sisters to connect with the alumnae. I would love for the alumnae to be a bigger part of our sorority, and I know that other sisters feel the same. After all, we are not really actives and alumnae, we are all sisters!!!
This semester, we are doing a service project through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society called Light the Night. This annual walk helps raise funds to help those fighting blood cancers. This project is especially important to us because one of our sisters, Stacy, is directly affected by these diseases; her mother, Linda, is currently battling Amyloidosis and Fibromyalgia. Here is what Stacy said about her mom on our team’s homepage:
- Linda Fussell is my hero! My Mom is truly my best friend and I am honored to be walking for her!
- My Mom has had so many medical problems these past few years, and so many unanswered questions. This past year she has endured over five surgeries.
- My Mom is 54, and was diagnosed with Amyloidosis last spring. The Doctor’s still think there is more wrong, and she was given a second diagnosis of Fibromyalgia this summer.
- Her disease, Amyloidosis is very rare, and was caught early! They believe it is localized.
- My Mom and I joined the Amyloidosis Support Group where we heard of Light the Night, and knew it was perfect! We hope one day Amyloidosis can be cured!
I am writing to tell you about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk to benefit cancer research. This event will take place on November 5th at Centenial Olympic Park, and I will be walking along with other sisters from my service sorority at Kennesaw State University, Omega Phi Alpha. This event is especially important to us because of the close connection that Stacy, one of our sisters, has to this disease; her mother was diagnosed with Amyloidosis last spring, and she was given a second diagnosis of Fibromyalgia this summer. We are participating in this walk in honor of Stacy’s mom.
Here is the link to our team’s homepage where you can find out more about the event. http://pages.lightthenight.org/ga/Atlanta11/StacysMom#Welcome-to-our-Teams-Homepage
If you feel led to do so, I would like to ask you to donate to this cause to raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services. Even a small donation will get me closer to my goal of $100. If you are not able to donate, please pass along this email to others you think may be interested. Also, I would like to ask for your prayers for Stacy’s mom, Linda Fussell, and our team as we participate in this walk.
Thank you so much!