Members of Salisbury University service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega gathered in Red Square Oct. 26 to smash pumpkins for breast cancer.
The fraternity welcomes all members of the SU community to join its organization and take part in the many events that it holds on campus.
Members of the fraternity decided on the pumpkin smash event because they felt it was a lighthearted way to tackle a serious issue.
SU junior and APO Vice President of Service Nicholas Sanders was behind the planning for the event, and he felt that this was the best structure for students to be intrigued and want to contribute to a great cause.
“This event is about ‘smashing’ breast cancer because all the funds go to breast cancer research, and we thought it’d be a fun stress-relieving idea to come out and smash pumpkins,” Sanders said.
Aside from pumpkin smashing, the event also offered students the option to paint a pumpkin of their choice for $4. The fraternity provided, pumpkins, paint, tools for smashing like baseball bats and a tarp to collect the pumpkin remnants.
APO Vice President Austin Altizer emphasized the importance of the enjoyable aspect of the event.
“The event is important because you want to have a fun way to tackle such a serious epidemic like cancer, and this was a fun way to raise money and raise awareness,” Altizer said.
The three-hour-long event ended up raising $231, all of which APO donated to the American Cancer Society.
SU sophomore Chelsea Ofori attended the event and chose to smash a pumpkin for her donation.
Ofori initially partook in the event to give toward a great cause, but she realized that she too benefited from the event in that she was able to exert her negative energy and stress into the activity.
“Honestly, that felt so stress-relieving and awesome,” Ofori said. “I just feel like I’m using all my energy for the right things and for a really great cause.”
The pumpkin smash event was only one of many events that APO holds and takes part in throughout the academic school year. Other events that the fraternity does consist of making bagged lunches for HALO, a local homeless shelter in Salisbury, clothing drives and a lot more.
APO is the only co-ed service fraternity on campus, and on a national level, APO has over 495,000 members on over 375 campuses nationwide, according to APO’s official website.
The president of the fraternity, SU junior Chris Giuliani, emphasized the importance that diversity and inclusion play in the fraternity.
"We are really just looking for members who really want to give back to their community more," Giuliani said. "We place a large focus on brotherhood and trying to work together as one."
Giuliani highlighted that the fraternity is extremely diverse in its members and what sets it apart from other organizations on campus is its primary goal to give back and help the community.
APO’s vision and mission are to “be the premier, inclusive, campus-based, leadership development organization through the provision of service to others and the creation of community,” according to APO’s official website.
Giuliani initially wanted to join Greek life on campus for the social aspects, but the second he heard APO’s mission, he felt drawn to this specific organization.
“This was a great option for me because I wanted to do a social fraternity, but I wanted to be able to give back to my community because I have a deep passion for community service, so this just seemed like the best opportunity.”
SU students paint pumpkins in support of breast cancer research. Photo by Emma Reider Images.
SU student relieves stress at APO Pumpkin Smash for Breast Cancer event. Photo by Emma Reider Images.
For more information on Alpha Phi Omega, contact APO President Chris Giuliani at email@example.com, or see APO's page at https://involved.salisbury.edu/organization/apo.
By CAROLINE STREETT
Gull Life editor
Photos by Emma Reider Images.