The Gustavian Weekly

Thetas host “Miracles of Mitch” benefit | The Gustavian Weekly

By Annie Opseth Staff Writer | November 21, 2008 | Variety

<em>Photo submitted</em>

Photo submitted

The Theta Xi Gamma sorority will host the “Miracles of Mitch” fundraiser this Saturday, Nov. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the banquet rooms of the Jackson Campus Center.

“All proceeds raised from the silent auction and dinner go directly to ‘Miracles of Mitch.’ It is a non-profit charity based in Chanhassen, MN, that provides financial support for families that have children with cancer,” said Junior Communication Studies Major and Theta Xi Gamma Co-President Katelyn Johnson. “We have a personal connection to the cause since one of our alumni babysat Mitch.”

The semi-formal event includes a four-course meal, a silent auction and a speech given by Mitch’s parents, Steve and Becky Chepokas.

“Miracles of Mitch” was inspired by Mitch Chepokas, a boy who had terminal cancer and died at the age of nine. Prior to his death, Mitch received approximately $6,000 in donations from various people supporting him. Knowing that his time was coming and wanting to help the other children in the cancer ward, he made the generous decision to put all his money toward aiding children with cancer. Mitch took charge and made his way to the bank where he withdrew all his money. He approached the teller and said, “6Gs, and I want them in hundies.” He then proceeded to make his father pinky swear to help other families and children. After Mitch’s death, his parents did exactly as they promised and created “Miracles of Mitch” to fulfill Mitch’s wishes.

“Mitch was an amazing young man with a big heart and we want to do everything in our power to help his dad fulfill his pinky swear,” said Junior Elementary Education Major Andrea Stevens.

Theta Xi Gamma has a committee designated to planning and ensuring the smooth running of the fundraiser. “Our ‘Miracles of Mitch’ Benefit Silent Auction is our biggest event of the year. Preparation for this event started at our first meeting this fall. We selected a committee to be in charge of organizing the major details of the benefit, but the entire sorority helps out by going to businesses and gathering auction items,” said Junior Nursing Major and Theta Xi Gamma Co-President Kaylee Munson.

The whole sorority also assists in decorating the banquet rooms where the auction is held. Junior Communication Studies Major Alex Parker is in charge of decorations on the committee this year. “I raised money from donations to pay for all of the decorations we would need, so there would be no overhead cost. This way, all of the money we raise can go to the foundation,” said Parker. Other committee members include Johnson, Junior Nursing Major Lisa Rivers and Junior Art Studio and Biology Major Kate Wiedman.

In addition to hosting the “Miracles of Mitch” silent auction and benefit dinner, Theta Xi Gamma also volunteers at the MiracleKids Triathlon during the summer. The sorority is in charge of the Orangefest Celebration at the summer triathlons. Last year was the first time that Stevens was involved in the MiracleKids Triathlon. “The Orangefest Celebration is the after-party of the triathlon.  We have DJs, blow up obstacle courses, blow up jumpers, face painting and fake tattoos,” said Stevens.

“We’ve invited family, friends and Theta alumni to the auction and hope to raise $5000. Auction items include a two-night stay in Las Vegas, Chanhassen Dinner Theater tickets and jewelry,” said Johnson. The “Miracles of Mitch” silent auction and benefit dinner is an invitation only event, but anyone is welcome to make donations. Those interested in making donations can contact Johnson at kjohns15@gustavus.edu.

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