Gustavus Sorority Helps Fight Childhood Cancer

Theta Xi Gamma's partnership with the Pinky Swear Foundation enters its 16th year.
Posted on May 4th, 2023 by

The 2023 Theta Xi Gamma fundraising event raised more than $11,450 for the Pinky Swear Foundation.

A Gustavus sorority recently demonstrated how the College’s core values uplift the people who need them the most. On Sunday, April 23, the Theta Xi Gamma sorority hosted its annual brunch and silent auction for the Pinky Swear Foundation. A total of 161 guests attended and raised $11,456.98 for children who are battling cancer. Thetas were also recognized at the Pinky Swear Foundation’s annual celebration as one of its top fundraisers, having raised more than $92,000 since first connecting with the foundation. 

Theta Xi Gamma was founded at Gustavus in 1920. The sorority adopted the Pinky Swear Foundation as its philanthropy in 2007 and has been actively involved in volunteering and fundraising for the non-profit organization ever since. The Pinky Swear Foundation (originally called Miracles of Mitch) was formed in the spirit of Mitchell Chepokas, a boy from Chanhassen, Minnesota, whose life was cut short by cancer at the age of nine. 

According to those who knew him, Mitch was a pretty amazing kid. At his tender age and despite his terminal diagnosis, he knew he wanted to help others. He donated money to the other children in his hospital ward and made his dad pinky-swear to help families of kids with cancer the following year, even though he knew he’d be gone by then. A Theta Xi Gamma member at Gustavus used to babysit for Mitch, and she convinced her sorority to adopt the foundation as its philanthropy.

Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has maintained Mitch’s vision with a clear and simple mission:

In the spirit of Mitch

To support the families of children with cancer.

Support is a simple word with many meanings..

Pinky Swear also has a partnership with the Mall of America. In September 2022, the Mall held its “National Day of Mess” with the Nickelodeon TV network. The hosts recognized two of Pinky Swear’s top fundraisers with some prizes and a dose of the infamous Nickelodeon Slime. Most of the Gustavus Theta Xi Gamma sisters attended the event, where they were able to make cards to give to All-Star kids (children who have received support from the foundation), as well as meet Pinky Swear employees, volunteers, and All-Star kids and their families. Jenna Wyum ‘23, the Thetas’ Pinky Swear Co-chair, was one of the “slime-ees” (right), along with Maiya Roelofs, a Pinky Swear All-Star who beat childhood cancer and was one of the top Foundation fundraisers this year. 


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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