By Garrett Wissel
Elm Staff Writer
Throughout late October, Washington College students may have noticed the wide array of pink decorations adorning campus. From streamers wrapped around the George Washington head, to pink pinwheels lining the Cater Walk, WC found itself pinked-out this past month, all to celebrate Zeta Tau Alpha’s annual Pink-out Week.
For Zeta Tau Alpha, Pink-out Week is the primary philanthropic event for many chapters nationwide, not just the Gamma Beta chapter at WC. Held during October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pink-out Week finds the sisters hosting a variety of events, from educational and informative to pure entertainment, all in the name of raising awareness in the fight against an illness that one in eight American women will develop over the course of their lifetime, according to statistics presented by breastcancer.org.
Although this year’s Pink-out Week was formally held from Oct. 22 to 27 the sisters were hard at work prior to then, hosting the “Brighten Up!” seminar in Decker Theater the night of Oct. 18. The event’s Facebook page described it as a “one-of-a-kind educational workshop that educates women on the basics of breast and ovarian health.” The events continued with a tailgate and bake sale at the men’s soccer game on that Saturday, Oct. 21.
Sunday, Oct. 22 marked the official start of Pink-out Week in the form of Pink-Fest, a riverside BBQ jointly hosted by Zeta and the brothers of Theta Chi and held on the lawn of President Kurt Landgraf’s house.
The event was catered by Smoke, Rattle & Roll, with other refreshments provided by the sisters. The event featured lawn games, music, and even a performance by WACapella.
“I’ve been hearing it’s the best turnout we’ve ever had at Pink Fest, which is huge for us and just a really good show of support from the campus,” said sophomore April Jones, a Zeta sister.
“We really wanted people to have fun at every event we put on,” said Sophie Polovoy, a sophomore Zeta member and the chapter’s current Philanthropy Chair. “After that, we wanted people to know about our philanthropy and how and why it’s so important to us.”
Breast cancer is one of the most common, and lethal, illnesses among American women today, with an estimated 40,610 women expected to die from the disease this year alone, according to breastcancer.org.
Pink-out Week continued with Zumba with Zeta, held on Oct. 25 in the Johnson Fitness Center dance studio. The 45-minute long session of the wildly popular exercise fitness program offered the sisters a chance to connect and have some fun with other WC students, all while helping to stay in shape. Physical fitness is often heralded as a vital preventative tool against breast cancer.
Held on Oct. 27 in Decker Theatre, this year’s iteration of “Big Man on Campus” saw 12 of WC’s young men duke it out to see who could win over the panel of judges made up of members of all three sororities.
With impressive displays of dancing, vocal performances, and even “bootleg magic tricks,” the pageant truly had it all, and junior David Pitts was able to take home the crown and title of “Big Man on Campus.”
“My favorite Pink-out event hands down is ‘Big Man,’” said Polovoy.
Her role as philanthropy chair involves her having a large part in planning each aspect of Pink-out Week along with her co-director Anne Harra, junior, who Polovoy was quick to say she couldn’t have done it without.
“At some points it was really stressful to plan, but the event was so much fun that in the end I didn’t even notice the stress,” she said.
The comedy of the pageant didn’t take away from the importance of raising breast cancer awareness.
“It was a whole lot of fun getting to dance around and entertain the crowd up on stage, but the fact that it was all for a good cause made everything that much better, and that much more rewarding,” said sophomore Drew Berry, the winner of Big Man’s “Best Dressed” category.
Berry, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor herself, holds the topic very near and dear to his heart.
“It’s just something everyone, both men and women, should educate themselves on, not just for their own sake, but for the sake of their loved ones as well,” he said.
The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha are chalking this year’s Pink-out Week up as a huge success in raising money and spreading awareness in the fight against breast cancer, having raised a total of $1,855.93, according to senior Amy Rohn.