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New sorority chapter at Coastal Carolina University setting foundation of philanthropy

February 13, 2018
The Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega launched at Coastal Carolina University in Fall 2017.Adaya McDowell is the recipient of a fulfilled wish as part of the Make A Wish Foundation South Carolina, which is the philanthropy that the Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega at CCU supports.

The newest sorority at Coastal Carolina University is not wasting time in setting a strong philanthropic foundation for the future of the chapter.

The Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega, established at CCU in Fall 2017, is holding a fundraising walk, “Waves of Wishes,” on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grand Park in The Market Common in Myrtle Beach to raise money for Make-A-Wish South Carolina. It is $15 to participate in the walk, which includes a T-shirt and refreshments.

“Waves of Wishes” is the culmination of the chapter’s “Wish Week” at CCU, a weeklong fundraising event for Make-A-Wish that included making valentines for children in local hospitals and percentage nights at Bruster’s Ice Cream in Carolina Forest and Dave and Busters in Myrtle Beach.

Event registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the walk will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will walk three miles around The Market Common. After the walk, participants can join in a send-off party for Adaya McDowell, a 7-year-old Myrtle Beach girl with a rare genetic condition that results in issues with eating, walking and speaking. The weekend following the walk, Adaya is having her wish to go to Disney World granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation in South Carolina, thanks to fundraising efforts by Chi Omega and other donors.

Sonya Wilson has one daughter who is a member of the Gamma Mu chapter and another child who was also a recipient of a fulfilled wish to go to Disney World.

“Make-A-Wish took one of the darkest times of my little girl’s life and brought joy!” Wilson said, who lives in Easley, S.C. “To see her smile and hear her laugh as she took in all the sights of Disney World blessed us more than I could ever put into words.”

At the send-off, members of Gamma Mu will present Adaya with an Ariel dress and tiara, and characters from her favorite Disney movies will be present, as well.

Chi Omega has partnered with Make-A-Wish since 2002 as a way for members to experience volunteering and fundraising while making the dreams of children come true, according to Gamma Mu’s community service director Lucia Zats, a sophomore communication major from Eagan, Minn.

Zats said since this is the founding year for Chi Omega at CCU, the founding members are excited to create the foundation and begin traditions for the chapter.

“This event gives wish families and members of the community a chance to come together to fundraise and celebrate an extraordinary organization,” she said. “A wish come true has the power to make kids feel stronger, more courageous, and more determined to overcome their illnesses.”

Gamma Mu’s philanthropic efforts don’t end after the walk. Members are already planning a baseball tournament in April, and have plans to volunteer at a soup kitchen in Myrtle Beach, to participate in beach sweeps, and to help the area’s homeless.

For more than 15 years, Chi Omega members have dedicated 1 million hours of service and raised $20 million to grant the wishes of children battling critical illnesses through Make-A-Wish.

Grand Park at The Market Common is located at 4017 Deville St., Myrtle Beach. To register for the walk, visit http://site.wish.org/goto/ccuchiomega, or you can find more information on the chapter’s Facebook page. Contact Zats at lmzats@coastal.edu or ccu@chiomega.com.

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