Pi Kappa Phi raises money and awareness during Push Week

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    Music echoed throughout the Greek Wednesday as hundreds of sorority women participated in a song competition as part of Push Week, put on by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

    Eleven Panhellenic sororities and Independent Greek Council sorority Eta Iota Sigma participated in a variety of activities to benefit Push America.

    According to its website, Push America is a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for people with disabilities. The organization was founded in 1977 by Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.

    Pi Kappa Phi is the only fraternity in the nation to own and operate its own philanthropy, member Shane Essert said.

    Push America raises money through a number of different events, including Journey of Hope, a 12,000-mile bike ride across America, Essert said. Essert was one of eight university students who participated in the event this past summer.

    “It was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life,” Essert said. “It really opened my eyes to the things that matter and what’s important in life.”

    Essert said he planned on staying to watch all the sorority performances because he is passionate about Push America.

    SGA president Brent Folan also attended and showed his support for Pi Kappa Phi.

    “It’s important to help people with disabilities,” Folan said. “It’s important to show that they are capable of doing everyday things like we are.”

    Push Week events included a penny jar donation, a Potbelly’s fundraising dinner and the sorority song competition. The overall winner received a trophy.

    The song competition featured sorority members performing mash-up tunes with lyrics related to Pi Kappa Phi and Push Week. Some sororities practiced their songs up to a week in advance.

    Alex Nahas, a first-year strategic communication major and Zeta Tau Alpha member, said her sorority practiced three or four times as a whole. Nahas said she also practiced the songs and choreography on her own.

    Zeta Tau Alpha sorority won the Push Week competition for the third year in a row.

    “It feels great, knowing that our pledge class was able to hold on to the tradition, and that the upperclassmen encouraged us throughout everything,” Nahas said.

    According to its website, Push America has raised over 15 million dollars to date to benefit people with disabilities and organizations.