Gamma Phi Omega Sorority Hosts Charity Walk


Photograph courtesy of Areli Calderon

On Saturday, April 14, the Gamma Phi Omega sorority hosted a walk to fundraise for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Rain caused the event to be moved to TRAC, however, the event still turned out to be a success, raising over $900 towards the ADA. The event was open to all University of Illinois Springfield students, faculty, and staff, as well as Springfield community members.

Participants walked 15 laps around the arena. In each corner, volunteers from the men’s soccer team led exercises and stretches. The physical portion of the event was to encourage an active lifestyle and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Gamma Phi Omega had a photo booth and a variety of tables set up around the arena for participants to get information or to “Pie-A-Swan.” As the GPhiO symbol is a swan, to “Pie-A-Swan” is to throw a pie in the face of a GPhiO member. The Pie-A-Swan booth was $1, with proceeds also going to the ADA.

Participants were given stickers so that they could write and display who they were walking for. Oscar Mercado, a UIS senior, walked for his mom and grandparents. Mercado said, “Being able to do something in order to prevent the disease means a lot to me.” Mercado saw the event as an opportunity for individuals to learn more about diabetes and its prevalance around the world.

Among the participants was the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Clarice Ford. Dr. Ford walked in the hopes of an end to the disease. The event is close to the heart of Dr. Ford, because of her health history. She stated, “It’s good to see young people stand up for a cause and, to me, it shows that the UIS community can make a difference in the world.” An Illinois resident in attendance, Jim McMahon, of Flora, was glad to see GPhiO put on the event as his youngest daughter has diabetes, and he would love to see a cure for the cause.