Alpha Omicron Pi sends arthritis up in smoke

One of the events at Alpha Omicron Pi’s Smoke Out Arthritis included a rib eating contest. Photo courtesy of Cori Pavlicko.
One of the events at Alpha Omicron Pi’s Smoke Out Arthritis included a rib eating contest. Photo courtesy of Cori Pavlicko.

Alpha Omicron Pi held its first ever Smoke Out Arthritis event in the M-26 parking lot from 12-6 p.m. on October 13 to raise money and awareness for the disease. Tickets went on sale earlier in the week for $3, while tickets at the gate were $5. All money raised was donated to AOII’s philanthropy, the
Arthritis Foundation.

AOII had lined up many events and activities for its guests throughout the whole day in addition to the Guy’s Barbeque platter each person received with admission. A rib eating contest took place at 2 p.m., an apple pie eating contest was held at 4 p.m. and local artist JD Eicher also performed for the crowd towards the end of the Smoke Out. The sisters also provided face painting and the option to Pie a Pi — or smash a pie in a sister’s face of your choosing.

Cori Pavlicko, president of AOII, said she is very happy about the turnout of the event.

“This is our first year doing Smoke Out Arthritis. We were expecting around 200, but we know we had more,” Pavlicko said. “The event was a success, so we hope to keep doing this every fall now as our main
fundraising platform.”

In addition to the students invited to the event, Pavlicko said AOII wanted to get the whole community involved, which is why the Smoke Out was open admission.

“The more people, the more money, the more goes to the Arthritis Foundation,” Pavlicko said.

Although the food was purchased out of pocket, many volunteers came together to make the Smoke Out a success. Guy’s Barbeque donated it’s services to provide quality barbeque flavor for the attendees, JD Eicher gave a free show, and all of the AOII sisters put in continuous time and effort coordinating the event and keeping it running smoothly throughout the day.

Lindsay Green, AOII chair member, said the event went even better than planned, and that the sisters are excited to keep this new tradition going.

“We definitely raised a good chunk for the Arthritis Foundation.” Green said. “It’s something not that many people know about, so it’s really cool that we can do this for such an amazing cause. It was a lot of work, but such a great time.”

The event was more than a hit with the people in attendance, as well as the sisters themselves. Shelby Reigelman, an AOII sister, said that despite being hit with pies multiple times, she had a good time at the event.

“I got hit in the face about 12 times with pies,” Reigelman said. “It was for a good cause, so I didn’t mind.”

The sisters of AOII said that the first year of Smoke Out Arthritis was an astonishing success, and that they hope that the event will snowball with each successive year.

“It’s our job as AOII sisters to give back to our philanthropy … and Smoke Out Arthritis lets us do that,” Pavlicko said.