Awareness Is Blowing In The Wind

Members of the Sigma Delta Tau Sorority planted pinwheels on Old Main Quad to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.
Members of the Sigma Delta Tau Sorority planted pinwheels on Old Main Quad to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.

The ladies of Sigma Delta Tau planted a garden of pinwheels in the shape of their sorority’s greek letters on the Old Main Quad on Tuesday, May 1 to raise awareness of a child abuse prevention charity.

“We feel child abuse is a commonly neglected topic,” Chapter President Meghan Healy said. “We really do our best to promote awareness on the toll it still takes on today’s youth.”

Each pinwheel was sold for $1 between 12:30 to 2 p.m., Healy said. The Sigmas donated all the money raised from the pinwheel garden to Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA).

Healy said the idea was suggested to the chapter by the Sigma Delta Tau National Headquarters. Other chapters throughout the nation had great success with the event and this encouraged the Sigmas to hold a similar event at New Paltz.

Healy said the headquarters provided them with all of the pinwheels necessary to plant the garden making it easy for them to get the program started.

Sorority sister Kayla Kennedy said the pinwheel garden is important to their cause because the pinwheel is PCAA’s national symbol for child abuse and neglect. She said having this garden on campus would attract students, faculty and staff to stop and learn about the cause.

“Our goal is to build awareness and inspire others to get involved in stopping child abuse nationwide,” Kennedy said. “We want to encourage our campus community to go out and get involved.”

Kennedy said this is the second year the Sigmas are hosting the pinwheel event. Last spring they raised more than $600 with the support of the faculty, campus community and local businesses.

Healy said they planted 400 pinwheels and managed to raise $500. According to the Pinwheels for Prevention website, nearly 900,000 pinwheels have been displayed nationwide since April 2008.

All funds given to PCAA go directly toward bettering the lives of children by providing education, building awareness and supporting prevention, according to

Sorority member Lauren Familia said the group has worked to raise money and awareness for PCAA. Some of the actions they pursued include posting facts in bathroom stalls around campus, selling ribbons and collecting cans throughout the village.

Healy said another successful fundraising event was “Pie A Sig Delt,” which allowed participants to throw pies at sorority members of their choosing.

“We have a quota every year which is $250, but we always surpasses it by a lot,” Familia said.

Familia said this quota is their goal for their philanthropy each semester and that all chapters of sororities must have one.

Kennedy said every semester the sisters must complete a philanthropy and community service “pearl” by raising money for their three causes. Kennedy said the current organizations they are raising money for are PCAA, Women for Women International and Jewish Women International.

The next event the Sigmas host will be a blood drive on May 9 at Starbucks on Main Street from 2 to 8 p.m.