On Thursday, the Gamma Theta Chapter of Chi Omega at Eastern Kentucky University brought a County Fair event to campus. This is the sorority’s first ever County Fair event for its philanthropy, Make-A-Wish.

The event featured fair-themed food, shaved ice, games, face painting, mechanical bull riding, dancing and a dunk tank throughout Powell Plaza.

“Every year we put on a big event just to raise a bunch of money for that foundation,” said Lindsay Volpenhein, senior English and communication studies major and president of the Gamma Theta Chapter.

Make-a-Wish is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to critically ill children.

“It is really close to all of our hearts. Basically, what that does is that it gives children with critical illnesses a chance to have some hope in a really dark time and also with their families as well,” said Volpenhein. “It costs around $10,000 to grant a wish, and that can be whatever that child wants it to be.”

Members of the sorority said they love the organization they are giving back to.

“This event is really important to me because I love Make-A-Wish, I love what we stand for, and I love that Chi Omega puts on a big event and makes a change for these kids,” said Hana Blank, a senior middle grades education major. “We actually get to go see the kids. We have three (kids) that we get to see quite often.”

Chi Omega members have the opportunity to meet the children that are receiving the wish.

“We try to grant a few wishes per year, and they’re all for residents of Madison County, usually, so we get to meet the kids,” said Volpenhein.

Chi Omega has done many events in the past to raise money for its philanthropy. Years before, they hosted a chili cook off.

“I think that this just provides a better opportunity for everyone on campus to get involved. And not only just with campus either, but like everyone in the community, too. It’s just a really cool, engaging way to have fun with everybody while also raising awareness for a really good cause,” said Volpenhein.

Senior member Rachel Lehkamp, who is majoring in Spanish and globalization/international affairs, hopes for this event to continue on in the future.

“This is a new event this year and I'm really excited to see how it flourishes after I'm gone. So, it's kind of sentimental because it's my last year. I'm excited to be trying something new that I think could be a really cool event. And the best part is, because it's a carnival, we'll be able to invite our wish kids and it'll be something that'll be fun for them, too,” said Lehkamp.

To learn more about this partnership and how to donate, visit https://chiomega.com/about-us/national-alliance-with-make-a-wish/

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