AOII and SAE bring Christmas cheer to Russell Cave Elementary families

AOIIs Hailee Conrad, left, Bea Randolph, middle, and Emily Crace, right, watch as Joshua, age 10, plays Ski Ball at GattiTown on Dec. 7, 2017 during AOII’s Christmas With the Kids. 

Sarah Hale

Alpha Omicron Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon hosted their annual holiday-time event Christmas with the Kids on Thursday night at Gattitown after raising more than $1,000.

This event is organized in an effort to raise money for underprivileged children and families from Russell Cave Elementary here in Lexington. All of the money that was either donated or raised went directly toward providing the kids and their families with gifts, clothes, supplies and toys.

During their time at Gattitown, members of AOII and SAE provided the guests with a dinner and time to play in the arcade as well as open up a few of the presents they were given.

The two chairs for this event, Lauren Morehead and Rachel Troop, worked to set up this event.

“I’ve never done an event that was all fundraising, so it was pretty cool to see the behind the scenes aspects of trying to promote the event, get people to donate, and raise awareness for it,” Morehead said.

While at the event, members of both AOII and SAE were able to get together in small groups and spend one-on-one time with the children.

They also added a new element to the event this year: Members from AOII and SAE went to Russell Cave Elementary and read books to the classes.

“This year we also incorporated Christmas readings at the school as a way to get acquainted with the kids before the event,” Morehead said.

This year, AOII and SAE raised money for Christmas with the Kids through CrowdChange, an online fundraising campaign that was recently endorsed by UK’s Panhellenic Council. It was the first time that they used this fundraising program for Christmas with the Kids.

“This is my favorite event, so to help organize it has been really cool. I know that the kids look forward to it every year,” Morehead said.

With the success of this event so far, AOII and SAE plan to keep hosting it for years to come for the families of Russell Cave Elementary.