The ladies of Sigma Alpha Iota are known for supporting local musicians, but they have come together in a time of need for one of their own.
Women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI) hosted a pancake feed fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The organization priced meals at $2 for kids, $5 for adults, and $15 for families, this included unlimited pancakes, water, coffee, orange juice, and two links of sausage with more being an additional fee. The pancake feed was primarily in support of a junior in music education and sister of SAI Madison Westervelt and her family after the death of Westervelt’s father, Todd.
“It means a lot to have support from my sisters and the community,” Westervelt said. “It’s really helped my family through this difficult time… It lets me know that they’re there for me.”
The pancake feed was put on by SAI but was primarily organized by SAI sister and junior in elementary education Emily Fritschie who said she wanted to do this for Westervelt because her father, Don, died recently as well.
“I thought it would be a really good way to come together as a community and a fraternity to support her..,” Fritschie said. “… It was very much so a collaborative effort…”
Fritschie worked closely with the staff and congregation of St. Peter’s Episcopal to make the pancake feed a reality, including exchanging emails and phone calls, setting up the basement for service, providing supplies and raw ingredients, and taking donations at the door.
Fritschie also said she was inspired to help out Westervelt because of her home community’s support during the time her father died.
“My father passed away too and it was a really difficult time..,” Fritschie said. “I felt like my community back home came together around our family so I just wanted to make sure our sister had the same… feeling of love and support… I think it’s really important that groups come together and stay together for things like this.”
The women’s fraternity organized and advertised through announcing in musical ensembles at Pittsburg State University and through social media such as Facebook. They also received help in marketing from the staff at St. Peter’s Episcopal, such as Victoria Howard, volunteer for the pancake feed.
“This is my first experience working with them (Sigma Alpha Iota) and they are just a great bunch of kids..,” Howard said. “We have had people from their organization be in our choir. We don’t have enough members for a full choir but they come and get a small stipend… They sing with us every Sunday… I can’t say how lovely it’s been to get to know them.”
Howard also said that the pancake feed was a “perfect opportunity” to help out one of their own in the choir.
“We are always looking for ways to help out the community and she is such a great kid… We love the opportunity to help her out because you’re always looking for something to do when there’s a tragedy but you never know what to do… This was a way to help out with her (fraternity) and we couldn’t be more pleased…”