Kappa Kappa Gamma starts scholarship fund in memory of student lost in skiing accident

The ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma held a new philanthropy to honor a sister who passed away last semester and raise money for their new Catie Abeyta Scholarship.

The chapter held a fundraiser in remembrance of Catie Abeyta, a CSU student and sorority member who died in a skiing accident last semester, at their philanthropy event Sept. 15.

Ad

The Catie Abeyta Scholarship will go to a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma who is in need of financial assistance in order to stay in their sisterhood and at CSU.

The idea for a scholarship in Catie’s name came from Hannah Persichitte, one of the main organizers of the event. She said she knew Catie not only as a fun and loving sister, but also as a dear friend.

Persichitte said that since Catie loved learning, so she thought a scholarship would be the perfect way to remember her.

The fundraiser took place at the Kappa Kappa Gamma house, and more than 200 people attended. Cost to enter was $5 if bought in advance and $7 at the door.

The sisters provided a hot dog bar and make-your-own s’mores table. They also sold stickers in memory of Catie.

Kappa Kappa Gamma members Bailey Sniffin, Allie Holtschneider, Sabrina Hille, Kelsey Sultzman, Emma Bielefeldt, Dani Smithpeter, and Angie Cromwell work the Hot Dog Bar at Kamp Kappa. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)
Kappa Kappa Gamma members Bailey Sniffin, Allie Holtschneider, Sabrina Hille, Kelsey Sultzman, Emma Bielefeldt, Dani Smithpeter and Angie Cromwell work the Hot Dog Bar at Kamp Kappa. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)

The idea for the event was sparked after the sisters in Kappa Kappa Gamma were told they could no longer do their annual Chili con Kappa philanthropy. The organizers of the event said the outdoors theme was representative of Catie’s deep appreciation for the outdoors.

The event also had a bone marrow donation station, where attendees could sign up and donate.

Catie’s parents attended the event after approving the idea for the scholarship. Lean Hoye, Catie’s mother, said the family was deeply touched by everything the Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters were doing for their daughter.

“When they approached us, it was just so early into the semester,” Hoye said. “It’s amazing how they got it all together and that everyone attended the event. We remember her every day, and you never really know if people loved her like we did, but seeing everyone here it is nice to know that she made such an impact on the community.”

The Greek life community and the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter has changed since the loss, said Emily Hass, a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister said.

Ad

“It made everyone closer, now when you leave people say ‘love you be safe’, and everyone is very open about things that happen,” Hass said.

Catie’s previous roommate Demi Connelley said that Fort Collins as a community has been affected by the loss.

“The Fort Collins community as a whole came together, and it showed that we had support from everywhere, (our loss) really just brought people together,” Connelley said.

Pi Kappa Phi associate member, Scott Lang, said that the various greek life organizations came together for the philanthropy event because of how losing Catie affected Kappa Kappa Gamma.

“(I felt the event is) awesome, (it is) for a great cause and it’s awesome to see people come together for a great philanthropy,” Lang said.

A sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Gabby Alcala, said she was excited by the number of people in attendance.

“(I was) stoked that so many people showed up, because not only was it a great philanthropy, but it also represented a deeper meaning for our chapter as a whole,” Alcala said.

At the event, people discussed the upcoming semester and future Greek events, as well as sharing memories of Catie. People in attendance said Catie was known for saying, “Sup dude” to whoever she saw around the house.

“(Catie had a) light that [she] always emitted to those around her,” said Caroline Matz, a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister.

Both Catie’s family and close friends said that she would have loved the event since it really captured who she was as a person and what she loved in her lifetime.

“I think Catie would have loved the event as well as the support the community put forth to commemorate her,” said Dakota Braxton Darfler. “I was enthralled to see the amount of people who showed up within the first hour, (and) I believe it was a huge success. Catie lives on in everyone she touched whether they know it or not.”

Catie’s father said the event was representative of Catie.

“This event would be something that Catie really would love, and even though her [physical] self isn’t here, her presence definitely is, and she is loving it,” said Bob Abeyta.

Collegian reporter Logan Crizer can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @logloc19.