Eight-year-old Annabelle’s wish to meet the Disney princesses will be granted as her and her family will be treated to a Disney Cruise this month thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation! Annabelle suffers from Morquio, but that doesn’t stop her from having the biggest smile on her face, especially when she was surprised with her very own Princess party. Several of our sisters were recruited to share the news about the cruise and celebrate with cupcakes and tiaras. Annabelle and her two sisters were so excited to hear they would be cruising with the very own Disney princesses!
As our National philanthropy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation holds a very special place in our hearts. It was established to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Thanks to generous donations, sponsors, and volunteers, boys and girls like Annabelle are able to live out their greatest childhood dreams and wishes. We are also proud to say that Make-A-Wish is the largest wish-granting organization in the world!
Meghan, a communication major, just returned back from a study abroad program in Germany and Austria! Here’s what she has to say about her experience overseas:
“I have never been to Europe, so when I found a public relations program offered in Germany and Austria, I knew it was the perfect match! We spent two weeks in Vienna, Austria, and then two in Munich, Germany. The time difference was tough at first (I was technically waking up at 3 a.m. for class the first couple days) but I finally adjusted and could enjoy staying out late and sightseeing. We did lots of day trips and excursions, including a trip to Salzburg where The Sound of Music was filmed, and to Neuschwanstein Castle, which Disney based his Sleeping Beauty castle on. I also got to visit Dachau, a concentration camp, and one of Hitler’s homes called the Eagle’s Nest, which was situated literally right on top of a mountain. It was both fascinating and surreal to be right in the heart of such rich WWII history. We also visited many PR firms including the globally recognized agency, Ketchum, who has an office in D.C. as well. It is my dream to work for them one day!
After the program was over, I was lucky enough to travel a couple extra days with one of my friends. We spent four days in Paris and four in London- of course I couldn’t leave Europe without going to those two cities! London was my favorite, I think because I was so happy to finally be in a place where everyone spoke english LOL. I did all the touristy things, like going on the London Eye and visiting Buckingham Palace.
I am so grateful for my summer adventure but at the same time I am so happy to be back in America with my friends and family! I can now say I have been to Europe and have so many memories to look back on.”
Even during the summer break, Chi Omegas are committed to making a difference and changing the world! Check out Ashley’s story about her experience in Honduras for a mission trip:
“Going to Honduras was a life changing experience. Being my first time out of the country, especially to a third world country, the culture shock was huge. The poverty was shocking, but what was even more surprising was the happiness and contentedness of the Honduran people. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, going out of their way to make us feel welcome. Everyday we visited an orphanage where we painted a mural, built a playground, and put in a new drain pipe. The children were overjoyed to have us there and helped us as much as they could. We also painted classrooms and put in a sidewalk for a school.
One thing I will never forget is while we were building the sidewalk an old woman came out and helped us move the stones into place. She welcomed everyone of us with a big hug and thanked us for our help. No matter how many times we protested, she would not stop helping us. This woman is a model of the Honduran people; kind, helpful, happy, and hardworking.
I will never forget my time in Honduras and hope to go back soon.”
We hope you all are as excited as us about the very best sale of the year: the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale! From June 5th-7th, girls all over the country travel to Philadelphia to experience the madness of this once yearly sale. Dresses, shorts, bikinis, sweaters, tees, jewelry, scarves, totes, everything Lilly- all on sale up to 70% off! Sisters Carleigh, Katie, and Erika say the 3 hour car ride, camping out in the rain, and pushing through all the crazy fanatics was well worth it in the end when they walked out with giant bags of Lilly goodies. Lets face it- there’s no such thing as too much Lilly!
Happy Shopping, Ladies!
There are few things we Chi O’s love more than the beach. So once that last exam is over and the stress of the semester can be left behind, we head down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for Beach Week! The 7 hour car ride turns into a blast of jamming to favorite songs and munching on junk food as sisters carpool down to their oceanfront hotels and condos on the north shore. Greek Beach Week is an annual get together of numerous fraternities and sororities to celebrate the start of summer. Colleges up and down the east coast have the opportunity to meet new people in the Greek community- all while getting that perfect tan! It was nice to see some familiar faces as well, since our friends in AOII and APHI at Mason were down there too.
Most sisters stayed at Ocean Drive Beach and Golf Resort, complete with an outdoor pool, lazy river, whirlpool, and tiki bar and grill. Just a few short steps away was the white sandy beaches and “cold” waters of the Atlantic Ocean- but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying a swim! The days started around 10 a.m., when the crowds headed out to set up their spot for the day. Some sisters brought speakers and blasted their music along the beach, creating a fun and lively atmosphere for everyone. By the end of the evening, everyone was ready for the Taco Shack- open late night serving tacos, quesadillas, churros, burritos, and other yummy goodness!
By the end of the week it was safe to say everyone left with a big smile and lots of memories to hold on to until Beach Week next year!
There were hugs, smiles, laughs, and tears at this past weekend’s Senior Luncheon. Located on the Occoquan Marina dock, it was the perfect backdrop for one last get together before we say goodbye to our seniors. Everyone enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the sun taking pictures, hearing words of wisdom, and doing what we do best: eating delicious food! Shout out to sister Courtney and her wonderful parents for grilling out and picking such a perfect location.
One of the biggest pieces of advice from our graduating seniors is to cherish every moment as an active member in Chi O because four years goes by way too quickly. Get involved, participate in events, take leaderships positions, and get to know every sister because everyone has something unique to bring to the chapter. The day also included our “Senior Buddy” reveal where each senior was presented with a decorated paddle from their Little and a basket of personalized goodies. Paddles are a time-honored tradition given to Big sisters before they graduate as both a symbolic and sentimental gift.
It has been a successful season for the Chi O’s here at GMU! Not only did we welcome a wonderful new pledge class, but we also granted a wish! Through countless successful fundraisers and hard work, we raised a total of $8,300, with over $5,000 coming from our Wish Week alone. Wish Week was an exciting time where sisters invited other Greek organizations out to support and participate in dodge ball tournaments, wing-eating contests, a carwash, and more to raise money for our philanthropy, the Make-A-Wish foundation. Some sisters even trekked out to the metro at 5 a.m. to ask for donations! It is an amazing and powerful feeling knowing we are apart of something that will change the life of a child forever, all from this one wish. We want to give a huge shout out to our philanthropy chair, sister Kelly Smith, who we couldn’t have done it without.
Apart from the Wish Week festivities, we were overjoyed to receive a new spring pledge class of ten outstanding girls. One of the best parts of welcoming a new pledge class is Big/Little reveal! Clue week- a week of nonstop spoiling Littles by their mysterious Bigs- concluded in one of the most memorable moments as the Big sisters revealed themselves. We are so happy for all the new additions to our Chi O families and can’t wait to keep growing each year!
This semester our chapter was also recognized at the annual Standards of Excellence Awards, hosted by Fraternity & Sorority Life to acknowledge and thank both chapters and individuals in the Greek community from the previous year. The Standards of Excellence Awards have been designed with several goals in mind to promote a high level of performance among all fraternities and sororities on campus. Some of our accomplishments include the 4 Stars Standards of Excellence Award, Spring 2013 Highest Greek Overall GPA, and Fall 2013 Highest Sorority GPA. Awesome job, ladies! And a huge congrats goes out to sister Melisa Trezhnjeva for the New Member of the Year award!
To wrap everything up, we held our annual Spring Formal which was themed “White Carnation Ball”. The event was held at Waterford Reception Hall, a venue near Fair Oaks Mall, complete with a grand lobby, lavish fountain, and a remarkable ballroom where we gathered. The night was full of photo bombing, dancing, awards, and eating with our sisters and handsome dates. Shout out to sister Molly Green on the fantastic setup and stunning decorations! We were all so impressed and sad to leave after the night’s end.