By Ryan Connelly
Throughout the month of April, the sisters of Alpha Xi Delta (AXiD) at Rider are “lighting it up blue” in honor of their philanthropy, Autism Speaks, and National Autism Awareness Month.
“This past week, we held multiple fundraisers with restaurants such as Panera, Chipotle, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Playa Bowls,” said junior communication studies major and president of AXiD Erica Podosek.
In order to receive proceeds from these restaurants, people had to go to the participating stores and bring a flier, tailor-made for each outlet. The fliers said that half the profits will go toward Autism Speaks.
“The goals of the events that we have had are to make sure that not only our Greek community, but the Rider community as well, is aware of the differences that we are making toward Autism Speaks,” said junior communication studies major and vice president of membership development for AXiD Olivia Battinelli. “We want everyone to know how our philanthropy affects them and what we can do to help it.”
On April 16, AXiD held its annual fundraising event, Xi Man.
Contestants from different fraternities competed in four rounds of events. The first round was Dress to Impress, which consisted of the men being escorted around by their dates while their biographies were read. The second round was a rap about AXiD.
Next was fundraising. Contestants had to run around in the audience with a bucket to try to solicit donations.
Last was the trivia round, during which the participants had to answer one to two questions about the sisters and their philanthropy. The winner was junior psychology major Carristian Brown from Sigma Phi Epsilon. In total, they raised $730 for this event. Ten percent of the total earnings from Xi Man went to Brown’s philanthropy, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
“We have had a lot of help from sisters to help plan and make these events possible,” said Battinelli. “Even if it is just running to go grab a last-minute prop to go toward the event, it went a long way. Every sister has genuinely wanted to contribute, and that has never gone unnoticed.”
So far, through the events they had this week, they have raised $1,871.
Podosek stated, “We hope, in the fall, to continue to hold fundraisers and events for Autism Speaks in addition to continuing our ‘Light it Up Blue Week’ during April, which is National Autism Awareness Month.”