Theta hosts first large-scale Thetathon fundraiser

Students dance in a four hour marathon to raise money for CASA. Matt Schreiber / The Tufts Daily

Sorority Kappa Alpha Theta hosted its first annual Thetathon, a four-hour dance marathon, on Saturday night at the Cousens Gymnasium’s Carzo Cage. The event raised money for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an organization that designates volunteers to protect children as they go through foster care or the court system.

Tufts Theta CEO Lesya Horyn, a senior, said that 275 people attended the event, raising $8,200 in ticket sales for CASA, which surpassed Theta’s goal of $6,000.

The event ended early when an unknown person pulled the fire alarm, according to Horyn. The building was evacuated and the police came to deal with the incident, she said. Horyn nevertheless characterized the event as a success.

“Everyone seemed really positive, we were really excited to have a lot of people there, and it was a good vibe in the room,” she said. “Everything that was in our control went well.”

This large-scale fundraising event was a first for the sorority’s Tufts chapter, which was started on campus just last year, according to Horyn.

“Theta was new to campus last fall, so when we were becoming a chapter and planning how we wanted to see ourselves as part of the campus, we decided that we wanted to put on a big event for the campus while raising money for … CASA,” she said.

Service and Philanthropy Director Tori Lin said that she and several other Theta leaders, including Horyn and Chief Marketing Officer Christie Wang, planned the event to get people excited about philanthropy and bring different groups of the Tufts community together, including a variety of student groups who performed at Thetathon.

“We really wanted to capture the essence of the Tufts community,” Lin, a sophomore, said. “We just wanted to make this event something that gets the whole Tufts community very involved and gets everyone pumped up, because in the end this is all for our philanthropy, which is such a big, important part of our chapter.”

Lin said the groups were chosen to “holistically capture” what the Tufts student body has to offer.

“We have [Spirit of Color], which is one of the best dance groups, we wanted to get that side — the dance part; we have Like Wolves, which is one of the most amazing bands on campus, so we have the musician side and we also have sQ!, which is one of the best a cappella groups … then we took literally the best DJs across Tufts campus, so the lineup was really cool,” she said.

The event also featured raffles, prizes and food, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to CASA, according to Lin.

“What’s cool about that is that Theta, nationally, is responsible for 70 percent of CASA’s budget, so the money that we raise really has a direct impact and really enables this program to actually function,” Horyn said.

In order to spark interest in Thetathon, Wang, a junior, said she raised enthusiasm within Theta and also utilized some conventional marketing methods to raise awareness.

“I think it started with generating [spirit] from my chapter … If those women are excited about the event and really care about it and really care about CASA, which they really do, I think that that really helps generate a lot of excitement,” she said. “I also did traditional marketing, like wearing our shirts around campus on specific days, flyers, chalking, a lot of social media blasts, but I think honestly it was the chapter that really generated the excitement.”

Theta hopes to continue to host this event each year, Horyn added.

“This has really been our biggest push and our biggest focus for the semester,” she said. “I’m really hopeful for the future that it will become a bigger and better thing and we will continue to have it as a space to share student talent in this fun way.”