Alpha Chi Omega works to raise money for ACCESS


By: Mallory Pierce, mailto:[email protected]

Madelynne Goodeaux (left), senior in chemical engineering and silent auction/fundraising chair for the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and Marissa Prelgo (right), senior in public relations and vice president of philanthropy for Alpha Chi Omega, at the spring philanthropy event for ACCESS.

Loretta Mcgraw

The Alpha Chi Omega sorority hosted its first ever “pizzapalooza” philanthropy event last month, from which all proceeds went to the Story County division of the Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS).

ACCESS is a non-profit, Iowa-based resource for victims of domestic abuse. As October was National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, the group felt it fitting to make this their cause, as they have done previously for their annual fall and spring philanthropy fundraiser, said Marissa Prelgo, vice president of philanthropy of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and senior in public relations.

Last spring the group hosted a similar event for ACCESS, but with quesadillas for an entree, and also hosted their “Desserts after Dark” last fall. The reason they chose to host a pizzapalooza this year is because they wanted to be unique from other sororities hosting dessert philanthropies and no one prior had ever done a pizza philanthropy.

ACCESS serves Story, Boone, Greene, Marshall and Tama counties and has a 24 hour crisis hotline reachable at 1-855-983-4641. The service can help provide shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children.

Beyond the crisis line, ACCESS also offers temporary emergency sheltering and housing for victims and their children, children’s programs, individual counseling and support groups for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and children who have experienced or witnessed family violence.

ACCESS has many advocacy programs as well as community education programming, and created the Story County Sexual Assault Response Team, which is a crisis support and on-going advocacy group.

All of the pizza at this year’s event was purchased from Papa John’s, and bosco sticks, dessert pizza, vegan and gluten free pizzas were made in-house. Having such a variety of options helped them to cater to everyone’s dietary needs. They also provided lemonade, water and root beer and Coca-Cola floats at this year’s event.

The girls took to their professional and individual Instagrams to spread the word with a countdown to the day, a ticket giveaway and posts of the official template on their own individual pages and stories. Creating an official Facebook event allowed everyone to invite and share the news and market the event as it approached. While promoting the event on social media, they also chose the more old fashioned strategy of distributing flyers to the greek community at Iowa State.

“With domestic violence and sexual assault being prevalent on college campuses, I want to make sure education is our key priority,” Prelgo said.

Though there are many other domestic violence shelters across the United States, each Alpha Chi Omega chapter throughout the nation donates to their local non-profit domestic violence shelter, just as Iowa State’s chapter raises monetary funds for ACCESS. 

Another facility in Iowa is the Iowa Children and Families Domestic Abuse Hotline, which is reachable at 1-800-942-0333. It helps provide resources for domestic violence prevention and intervention, teen programs, family support, early childhood development, mental health and substance abuse.

In addition to the events slideshow and facts around the seating area at the event, interested parties can learn more information about domestic abuse or where to get help through ACCESS’ website.