By Julia Train
On Oct. 10, Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) raised $11,117 for breast cancer awareness and education. The female fraternity held their annual Tricky Tray fundraiser for their philanthropy, where attendees were able to put tickets in over 50 raffle baskets.
All profits from the $5 entry fee, raffle ticket sheets, the “birthday board” and t-shirts went directly to the national Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation and will be distributed to organizations related to their philanthropy.
“When you’re in Greek life, you’re trying to do something for others and be better than just yourself,” said senior musical theater major and ZTA President Riley Martin.
ZTA is a women’s fraternity, meaning that it wasn’t founded by a man and they aren’t paired with any fraternity, like sororities.
Minutes before 11 a.m., friends and family of ZTA members, along with chapter alumni, lined up outside of the Cavalla Room waiting their turn to purchase their tickets and enter the room.
Across from the line was a birthday board, where attendees would purchase a raffle ticket in order to pick a date on the board. If the date was picked, the winner could get either a $25, $50 or $100 giftcard.
Inside, 16 round tables were set up with white tablecloths and pink floral centerpieces surrounded with pink ribbon pins that said, “Think Pink” and a piece of paper with a QR code that led to the event’s program.
Jazz music played in the background as guests strategically placed their tickets in pink paper bags in front of baskets on the left side of the room. Some chose to put all of their tickets in one bag, in hopes of winning their favorite basket. Others waited until the last minute to place their tickets in multiple bags, hoping to win as many as possible.
In the front of the room there were two screens playing a slideshow of pictures from past ZTA events.
On the right, were tables with bagels, cupcakes with pink decorations, fruit, coffee and pink plates and silverware.
“ZTA fundraises separately in order to be able to fund the larger fundraising events, such as Tricky Trays,” said junior English major Bella Puso.
“The fraternity continues work for their philanthropy throughout the year, but October is when they do the bulk of their work. In addition to Tricky Trays, they also host the Mr. Pink pageant and Making Strides walk,” said Martin.
On Oct. 1, the fraternity shared their CrowdChange link for the month, which is a platform similar to GoFundMe. Within nine days they raised $3,719.
At the National ZTA Convention in July, the chapter received an award for raising over $10,000 last school year.
“Hopefully we can do better than that this year,” said Martin. “But that was really crazy that any of the ZTA chapters in the country haven’t broken that, but the little New Jersey school has.”
“While fundraising and awareness is important, so is education,” said junior business administration major and director of philanthropy Mollie Brislin.
“We like to bring in guest speakers, like one we brought in last year that told us about genetic testing to see if you have the gene for it so that you can take precautionary measures,” Brislin added.
The chapter’s Vice President, Caroline King, had her aunt, a breast cancer survivor, fly in from Chicago to speak with the women about her experience. Breslin’s grandmother is also a survivor, along with some of her best friends’ moms.
“A lot of the members have joined ZTA because of our philanthropy. A lot of them have either personally suffered from the effects of breast cancer or a loved one has,” said senior English major King. “One in eight women actually will suffer the effects of breast cancer which is a really startling statistic.”
King and Breslin work with the Think Pink chairman and chapter treasurer Angelina Leunes in order to plan the events. Leunes, a junior communications major, has been breast cancer fundraising for seven years, starting in high school with her cheerleading team selling t-shirts and socks.
“As a woman, I feel like it’s my duty to give back and be fundraising for these women,” Leunes said.
Olivia Nicoletti and Hannah Newman are sisters of ZTA and editors for the Rider News. Neither had any part in the writing or editing of this story.