By Milly McKinnish, Temple
Editor’s Note: On Aug. 30, St. Jude announced it had made the decision to transition the St. Jude Walk/Run to a virtual only event. This story has been updated to reflect that change.
Sisters, we have a record to protect! Last year, despite the pandemic, Team Tri Delta was the number one fundraiser for the St. Jude Walk/Run. Held every year in September during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the event is one of Tri Delta’s biggest—and most active—annual fundraisers. We are looking forward to repeating this year!
The 2021 event will be held virtually on Sept. 25 and registration is now open. You can sign up now under Team Tri Delta and create your own team, join an alumnae chapter with a team or participate on your own virtually. No matter how you take part, you will be part of our mission to save lives with St. Jude.
Rising to the Occasion in 2020
2020 was a year unlike any other and St. Jude Walk/Run made the important shift to hosting the 5k event virtually. Last year, participants downloaded the St. Jude Walk/Run app, signed into their team and logged their steps. Participants were able to compare their activity with their teammates and the top teams were listed on a leaderboard, adding a national, competitive twist.
Despite the challenges of being in the middle of a pandemic, Tri Delta continued its tradition of bettering our best and raising the bar.
Our chapters rose to the occasion. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Alumnae Chapter was the top fundraising alumnae chapter for Tri Delta and raised $9,080. Epsilon Phi Chapter at Temple University was right there with them raising $8,136, while Alpha Lambda Chapter at the University of South Carolina was the top collegiate fundraiser, raising $32,900.
The key to these chapters’ success was understanding their sisters’ preferences and using them to inform their event plans.
For instance, Sue Mendenhall, Minnesota, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Alumnae Chapter philanthropy chair, says her “chapter does really well with multiple avenues of communication.” It is important to know your chapter and which communication method they prefer—whether that be email, Facebook, newsletters or something else. When your chapter cannot meet in-person, communication is more important than ever.
Hannah Scott, Temple, Epsilon Phi’s Director of Philanthropy at the time, tapped into her chapter’s love for incentives. She told the chapter that if they raised $7,000, she would dye her hair blue, wear an all-blue outfit and march down one of Philly’s main streets with a sign that read “honk for St. Jude!”
“Needless to say, we met the goal and I had so much fun embarrassing myself on the street,” Hannah said.
Coming Together in 2021 to Meet Big Goals
Not only is Tri Delta hoping to once again be the number one fundraising team for St. Jude, we are excited enter the final stretch toward meeting our $60 million pledge to St. Jude. In 2014 we made one of the largest pledges at the time to St. Jude, committing to raise $60 million over 10 years. We are now poised to meet that goal two years early by July of 2022. This year’s Walk/Run will help us get there.
The 2021 St. Jude Walk/Run will once again be held virtually, and individuals can participate by downloading the St. Jude Walk/Run mobile app.
Epsilon Phi is looking forward to again participating in the 5k. Mikayla Andrezjewski, Temple, the current director of philanthropy, has a two-fold plan to make this their chapter’s most successful Walk/Run yet. She wants to raise additional money by selling custom-designed T-shirts. Secondly, to increase inter-chapter engagement, she wants to hold a “Best Blue and Gold Outfit” competition.
Sue said, “We continue to learn about what a great cause St. Jude is, but we also enjoy the bonds of our Tri Delta sisterhood with age groups from young alums to Circle Degree women as we come together as one.”
The St. Jude Walk/Run will be an inspirational experience for everyone involved.