Pie throw raises money

Dustin Snook, senior in marketing, left, pies Caitlin Deen, freshman in animal sciences and industry, in the face for "Pie an Alpha Chi" Thursday afternoon in the Bosco Student Plaza. Proceeds from the event will go to repair the Alpha Chi Omega sorority house at the University of Iowa, which was damaged by a tornado. (Steven Doll)

Members of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority got a little messy Thursday afternoon to benefit a sister chapter affected by a recent tornado.

The “Pie an Alpha Chi” event took place from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Bosco Student Plaza. Volunteers from the sorority sat at a table and allowed passers-by to pie the member of their choice for a $1 donation.

Cat Hinds, junior in elementary education and coordinator of the event, said the pie-throwing fundraiser was organized after she and her sorority sisters heard about a sister chapter at the University of Iowa whose house was destroyed during a tornado a few weeks ago.

“We heard the news from our chapter adviser,” Hinds said. “They have a wish list of needed items, but we thought the best way to help them would be to send money.”

Students’ initial reluctance to actually throw the pies surprised Alpha Chi member Lisa Beck, sophomore in architectural engineering, who volunteered to be pied.

“I’m calling the donations pity money,” she said an hour after the event began, “because people are like ‘I’ll give you a dollar, but I don’t want to pie you.’ I’ve been pied three or four times so far, but I really had to work to get it.”

Beck said it was hard to describe what it felt like to have a whipped cream pie smeared in one’s face.

“It’s definitely an interesting feeling – it starts out really cold,” she said.

Riley Anderson, junior in landscape architecture, said she made a spur of the moment decision to participate in the Alpha Chi Omega fundraiser after an invitation from Beck.

Not only did the pie-throwing benefit a good cause, Anderson said, it was a new and unusual way to raise money.

“I don’t think I would have ever thought of it,” he said. “It’s pretty creative, compared to a lot of the other events out there.”

At the end of the day, Jessie Connell, junior in psychology and chapter president, said “Pie an Alpha Chi” raised about $200 for the Iowa chapter.

“I thought it went great,” she said. “Everybody did a great job.”