By: Emily Helenius

This past Saturday, February 25th, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi held their fourth annual Spaghetti for Scleroderma in Bello Grand Hall.

For the past four years, AOII has hosted their amazing event to honor their sister and Bryant alumna Victoria Frazier’s mother, Wendy, who lost her battle to the rare disease in May 2013. The sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi, alongside family, friends and the Bryant Community, gather each year to raise thousands of dollars and awareness for the Scleroderma Foundation.

Scleroderma is a chronic tissue disease that is classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases.  The seriousness of Scleroderma varies depending on the parts and the extent of the body that is affected.  Scleroderma impacts each individual differently. For Wendy, it resulted in the development in pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension.  Unfortunately, the disease compromised her immune system, leading to pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. However, her disease did not define her. Wendy was a loving mother, wife and friend and touched so many lives.  

Current AOII President, Dani Crepeau, states, “What makes Spaghetti for Scleroderma so special for us is the fact that it hits so close to home for our chapter. When our alumna and current Chapter Advisor, Vic, lost her mother to this terrible disease, sisterhood and AOII was one thing that remained positive, constant and supportive in her life. The event was created in the memory of her mother, Wendy, and her legacy has carried on ever since. I love that our entire sorority and our entire campus community is so supportive and involved in this event year after year, regardless of whether they know Vic or not.  Even before I became Chapter President and started working closely with Vic, I knew how important this dinner was to her, her family and to the founding member of AOII at Bryant.  It’s an incredible feeling to be able to honor Vic, Wendy, and all of our founding members who worked so hard to create this tradition.  Ally Favuzza, our Vice President of Philanthropy, put together a beautiful evening this past weekend, and I’m so excited to see it continue to make an impact in the future.”

Spaghetti for Scleroderma is Alpha Omicron Pi’s biggest philanthropy event on campus thanks to Vic Frazier’s devotion and efforts to share her passion for the Scleroderma Foundation with her chapter.  Together, AOII is able to remember Wendy and raise awareness of Scleroderma, a rather unknown disease by most.  

The event held this past Saturday was made possible due to the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi’s passion to continue to uphold the tradition in memory of Wendy, as well as to spread the word about Scleroderma.  This year, philanthropy chair, Allyson Favuzza, partnered with Terrazza Bistro.  Terrazza is a local restaurant located just down the road and is owned by Bryant alumnae Edmond Assili, who was thrilled to support such a wonderful cause and tradition.

Ally Favuzza really enjoyed being in charge of planning and executing the fourth annual Spaghetti for Scleroderma event. Ally said, “This is my third Spaghetti for Scleroderma and it has always been my favorite event.  As one of AOII’s largest philanthropy events, I was honored to have the opportunity to plan and continue on with the success of the event.” Ally has held other positions in AOII, however, she found that the Philanthropy Chair is by far the most unique and rewarding experience.  She is extremely passionate about continuing to help ensure that AOII’s traditions are upheld through events like these and to aid in Alpha Omicron Pi’s growth as a philanthropic organization.

This year at the event there were several amazing raffle prizes, including tickets to Country Fest, as well as several other gift cards.  The sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi are proud to announce that the total amount of money raised from the event this year was $2,330!