CSU chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma raises money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during philanthropy event

A long line of CSU students, parents, alumni and Fort Collins community members filed out of the Kappa Kappa Gamma house on Tuesday night, singing along to Garth Brooks and waiting to get their hands on a hot bowl of chili.

But it wasn’t the food or the country music that brought them to Chili Con Kappa, one of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s biannual philanthropy events.

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Instead, it was the chance to support a good cause.

“When I first showed up, it took 20 minutes to get through the line, because there was such a huge turnout,” said Bik Bajwa, a junior computer technology and economics major. “I just think it’s great for us to come out and support charitable causes.”

This year was the 10th anniversary of Chili Con Kappa. Proceeds benefitted the Kappa Foundation, which supports Kappas in need, as well as the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

In the dining room where the countless bowls of chili were served, a poster board saying “Kappa [hearts] Emily” was displayed in honor of a Kappa sister at Kansas State University who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia, and who was an old friend of sorority Vice President of Academic Excellence Kat Jaeger.

“I am so honored and excited that the chapter chose to support my friend,” Jaeger said. “It feels amazing to know that we are helping to find a cure for leukemia, because I feel like I am a part of her fight now.

“Finding out that someone I care about is sick was heartbreaking, so I feel very blessed to have such wonderful sisters who were willing to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in her honor.”

This year’s Chili Con Kappa drew far more attendees than it’s ever had in its 10 year history, according to chapter President Arianna Zabriskie — in fact, for the first time ever, Kappa ran out of chili because of the huge demand.

“This event has been the most successful fundraiser we have ever had,” Zabriskie said. “… We are so excited about the turnout, and owe it to the awesome CSU community that has supported us.”

Last year’s event raised $1,500 for charity. This year’s raised $2,540.

A group of Kappas have been planning the event since August, and leading up to it, everyone in the house pitched in to help with decorations and other preparations, house members said.

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Wendy’s, Texas Roadhouse and King Soopers donated supplies. Alumnae, Kappa upperclassmen, parents, Kappa’s house mom and others pitched in to help cook.

Karl Schneider, whose daughter is a Kappa, drove up from Arvada for Chili Con Kappa. He said he made somewhere around six or seven liters of chili.

“It was nice to see a lot of people come out and show their support,” he said.

Editor in Chief Allison Sylte can be reached at news@collegian.com.