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FAU philanthropy event raises $247,000 for children with chronic illnesses

OwlThon generates thousands of dollars annually, typically raised by FAU fraternity and sorority members.

FAU+fraternity+and+sorority+members+dance+during+OwlThon%2C+an+annual+fundraiser+for+children+with+chronic+illnesses.+Photo+courtesy+of+OwlThon+
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FAU philanthropy event raises $247,000 for children with chronic illnesses

FAU fraternity and sorority members dance during OwlThon, an annual fundraiser for children with chronic illnesses. Photo courtesy of OwlThon

FAU fraternity and sorority members dance during OwlThon, an annual fundraiser for children with chronic illnesses. Photo courtesy of OwlThon

FAU fraternity and sorority members dance during OwlThon, an annual fundraiser for children with chronic illnesses. Photo courtesy of OwlThon

FAU fraternity and sorority members dance during OwlThon, an annual fundraiser for children with chronic illnesses. Photo courtesy of OwlThon

Cameren Boatner and Sophie Siegel

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This story is a part of our April 2019 issue on Greek life at FAU. To view the whole issue, click here.

A room full of Greek life members danced in the campus gym for 13 consecutive hours last month, but it wasn’t just the longest formal you’ve ever heard of. They were raising money to support children with chronic illnesses ranging from asthma to heart defects.

This philanthropy event, called OwlThon, raises thousands of dollars each year “For The Kids.” The slogan was even displayed on fraternity and sorority members’ headbands. The March 23 event raised over $247,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, according to FAU OwlThon’s website, and the donations go toward treatments for children at the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

OwlThon Executive Director Daniella Lanes says the event gives Greek members the chance to come together for a good cause.

“We are making a real difference in so many lives. As an elementary education major, I love being around kids and believe that no one should have to spend their entire childhood within the four walls of the hospital,” she said via email. “OwlThon gives me and so many others the chance to do everything in my power to help those kids who can’t help the situations that they are in and to make a difference.”

According to their website, OwlThon “aspires to be the premiere student-run philanthropic movement, bringing together a diverse community focused on educating, inspiring, and uniting our campus and community to provide ongoing support for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.”

Some of the biggest sponsors include:

  • Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores
  • University Park, an off-campus apartment complex
  • Wyndham Boca Raton, a hotel near campus
  • It’s Owl Time, an off-campus FAU apparel store

Over the six years FAU has been doing OwlThon, they’ve raised over $995,000, according to Lanes.

Friends and family of Greek members can donate to OwlThon participants to help them reach fundraising goals, which are all displayed on the OwlThon’s event website.

Alexa Vento, a Phi Mu alumni, raised $2,746.13 — enough to make her the sorority’s top fundraiser. She wrote on Facebook about how her team won the fundraising competition, and what OwlThon means to her.

“OwlThon is so much more than just fundraising all year, it’s a celebration for our hard work, for these kids, for more laughs,” she said.

The top Greek fundraisers during this year’s OwlThon were:

  • Phi Mu: $19,535
  • Alpha Delta Pi: $14,161
  • Sigma Kappa: $13,174
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon: $12,559
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi: $7,725
  • Delta Phi Epsilon: $7,349
  • Theta Phi Alpha: $6,506

We stand for the kids who can’t,” Peyton Henry, a junior psychology major and sister of Theta Phi Alpha who participated in OwlThon, said. “Being in a room full of passionate, hard-working people is honestly the best feeling in the world. It provides hope to the children and their families.”

Sophie Siegel is the Editor in Chief of the University Press. For more information regarding this and other stories, email her at [email protected] or tweet her @SophSiegel.

Cameren Boatner is a staff writer with University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected]

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