Pi Beta Phi sorority supports childhood literacy with annual ‘Pie a Pi Phi’

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Pi Beta Phi sorority supports childhood literacy with annual ‘Pie a Pi Phi’

Photo by Photo via Facebook.com/events/611639362344468/

Photo by Photo via Facebook.com/events/611639362344468/

Photo by Photo via Facebook.com/events/611639362344468/

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Girls across the country are thrilled to get a plate of whipped cream thrown in their faces, and it’s happening on campus this week. The catch? It’s all for a good cause that directly impacts the Milwaukee community.

Pi Beta Phi will hold its largest national philanthropy event of the year, Pie a Pi Phi, today 12-3 p.m. in Westowne Mall.

Pie a Pi Phi is an event in which participants purchase pies to throw at Pi Beta Phi sorority members. More than 100 members are expected to be present. One pie costs $3, and two pies cost $5. Pies are made of whipped cream. All the money raised from the event goes toward supporting children’s literacy.

The money raised will be put into the Pi Beta Phi foundation. The money is then distributed to various charities, including Arrow in the Arctic. Pi Beta Phi also participates in helping increase literacy rates by going to schools in Milwaukee and working with students one on one.

Literacy hits home for many of the sorority sisters. It has changed them, and they hope to share their love for reading and writing.

“I’ve loved reading since I was in third grade,” said Jordan Kepler, a freshman in the College of Business. “I feel like I’ve gained so much knowledge reading, and I’ve learned so much I never would have learned if I didn’t start reading when I did.”

Lindsay Solheid, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said they create relationships with the students by going into the classrooms. “When they know you’re helping them and you want to help them, they’re more down to learning.”

Once tables are set up at the event, sorority sisters will work shifts that mesh with their class schedules. Members advertised the event on social media and have invited friends and family.

“I told my parents to come pie me,” Kepler said. “They can get their aggression out in a positive way. I told my friends to come so hopefully I get a lot of pie in my face.”

This year, the sorority opted to push the event back to later in the semester. In previous years it was still cold out when the event took place. This was done to increase participation and make cleanup easier on sorority participants.

“What happens when you’re cold is you want to take a warm shower, but you can’t get the whipped cream warm or else it will start to curdle on your body,” Solheid said.

Deciding what outfit to wear is difficult. Some members plan on wearing ponchos, trash bags and shower caps. Girls who have done it before also recommended pulling long hair back into a bun or ponytail.

“This year I’m probably going with a garbage bag,” said Charlotte Hingley, a junior in the College of Communication. “Last year I wore a shirt that I didn’t care about getting whipped cream on because sometimes it can stain, but it’s for a good cause so it’s really not a big deal.”

In addition to choosing an outfit, girls are advised to block out time afterward to take two or three showers in order to get all of the whipped cream off.

Members have an additional incentive to participate other than making a difference. The member who gets pied the most, and therefore raises the most money, will receive a gift card to any location she chooses.

“It’s really a fun day that’s filled with lots of absolutely sticky messes,” Hingley said. “As sisters we all get together. We do it for a good cause.”

Members said that this is one of the most anticipated events of the year, especially for new members.

“I’m most excited about having all of the new members be there,” Hingley said. “I’m assuming it’s the first time anyone has gotten pied in the face, but also it is their first philanthropy event. I like to see the excitement in their eyes when they’re having fun and making a difference.”

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