Thursday, Sept. 29, the Alpha Chi Lambda sorority hosted their annual “Ignite the Night” philanthropy event at Club Rio.
Ignite the Night has been happening annually for about a decade now. Lower ticket prices are expected to raise attendance levels.
“Ignite the Night is a philanthropy dance for Alpha Chi Lambda, and we’ve been doing it every fall for about ten years now. It’s a whole bunch of fun, and tickets are a lot cheaper this year than they have been in previous years, so hopefully even more people will decide to donate this year,” said Annalisa Trevino, senior and president of Alpha Chi Lambda sorority.
Alpha Chi Lambda works with An Orphan’s Bright Star to help children in Ukrainian orphanages.
“All the proceeds go to An Orphan’s Bright Star, a charitable organization that sponsors orphanages in Ukraine. We partner with this nonprofit each year partially because it was actually started by an Alpha Chi alum, which is really cool. It’s very near and dear to our hearts because it’s something that was started by someone who we care a lot about as an organization,” Trevino said.
A considerable number of Ukrainian children find themselves, for various reasons, living out their childhood in orphanages.
“Of Ukraine’s eight million children some 96,000 live in state-run children’s institutions such as orphanages, boarding schools and shelters. Family poverty, unemployment, alcoholism and drug use are the main reasons for children being abandoned. Thousands of children also choose to run away from violence in their homes. They find refuge on the streets where they run the risk of contracting tuberculosis and HIV through injecting drugs,” according to UNICEF Ukraine.
The sorority chose Club Rio based on the size of the venue.
“We’ve been doing different clubs for the past two years but usually hold it at Rio since it’s one of the few clubs large enough and accessible enough to hold an event of this magnitude,” said Alex Cohen, Ignite the Night chair for Alpha Chi Lambda.
Ignite the Night helps raise awareness of the struggles faced by these children.
“Apart from being underfunded, orphanages in Ukraine have children that are at risk for labor and sex trafficking, and Ignite the Night is a good, efficient and fun way to spread this awareness throughout campus and possibly outside of campus. I’ve worked with humanitarian organizations before, helping displaced children to receive basic necessities like food, shelter, water and clothing. These children are in need of aid because they have little to nothing left and as an Alpha Chi, I’m proud to know that our organization is giving them a chance at a better life,” said Lauren Truong, a junior Alpha Chi.
An Orphan’s Bright Star benefits children who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves in dire times.
“This isn’t a local issue, and we may not ever actually meet these kids, but we’re helping provide them with the funds to make the most out of the bad situation they somehow ended up in. It may not fix everything, but every little bit helps,” Trevino said.
An Orphan’s Bright Star works diligently to help improve the lives of these children.
Alpha Chi Lambda is trying to raise more money than they did with last year’s fundraiser.
“We have given upwards of $3,000 in a semester before, and that’s all for just one dance. That’s a pretty huge amount to raise, and we’re very proud of that, so we have got to keep going and raise as much money as we can so that we can help these kids get what they need,” Trevino said.