Sorority fights breast cancer all year round

Pink ribbons, pink shirts and talent shows are just a few of the things the Delta Zeta chapter of Panhellenic sorority Zeta Tau Alpha is doing to raise awareness for their philanthropy: breast cancer.

Zeta Tau Alpha will be hosting their ‘Z-Talent Show’ to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Tryouts to be a contestant at the talent show started last night and will continue today at 7:30 p.m. at the Zeta Tau Alpha house.

Contestants that make it past the auditions round will then perform at the talent show, where audience members will vote by donating money.

“We will have those contestants perform, and during their performances, the audience will be the judges,” Erica Worzel, sophomore mass communications major and Zeta Tau Alpha director of philanthropy, said. “During the performances, we will come around with bags and collect money and change.”

The sorority encourages everyone to try-out for a spot at the show. You do not have to be involved with a Greek organization or a Sam Houston State University student to try out. In fact, Worzel encourages anyone from the Huntsville community to try-out for the show.

“My goal was to get everyone involved,” Worzel said. “Not just Greek life but everyone on campus, and we always really try to do that. There are so many talented people at Sam Houston. We have an amazing theatre school and music school.”

The “Z-Talent Show” is scheduled for Nov. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

The money raised at the event will be given to the national office of Zeta Tau Alpha. From there, it will be distributed to the wide variety of breast cancer organizations they support.

Apart from the talent show, the sorority hosts different events that help support the sorority’s philanthropy.

Zeta Tau Alpha has partnered with many organizations such as Self-Magazine, Lifetime Television and the Susan G. Koman foundation, to raise awareness about breast cancer. In October, the sorority also partners with the NFL to host pink out games across the league.

SHSU’s chapter assisted the Houston Texans in their pink out game and continues to do so every year, according to Worzel.

One of the most successful events that the sorority hosts occurs in April, not October.

Zeta Tau Alpha hosts the Crown Classic golf tournament with a wide variety of sponsors. This past year, the sorority raised $25,000 at the annual event.

“We get sponsors – local businesses around Huntsville, Conroe and The Woodlands,” Taylor Tompkins, senior mass communications major at Zeta Tau Alpha president, said. “There are different levels of sponsorships, and it includes a sign that goes on one of the holes. For one of the levels they can [sponsor] two to four players on a team.”

According to Tompkins, this has been the biggest event for the sorority in the past 14 years and typically raises the most money for them.

The sorority’s main October event is the month-long Kats for the Cause campaign, where the organization hosts small events though the month in support of breast cancer awareness.

Apart from raising awareness, members of the SHSU chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha have been affected personally when it comes to breast cancer.

“One girl who is on the executive board with me, her sister passed away from breast cancer,” Tompkin said. “Also, her mom had breast but doesn’t have it anymore and her grandma passed away from it as well.”

Tompkin believes that raising awareness for breast cancer provides education on the disease.  Awareness is important to Tompkins due to the fact that many people push it to the side because it is a well-know cancer and has so many events and activities that raise awareness for it.

“Breast cancer [awareness] is very well known,” Tompkin said. “You can honestly say it [has] one of the biggest cancer organizations or charities that gets the most publicity, and sometimes it gets a lot of slack for that. What people don’t realizes is that the reason why it’s so well know is that it effects so many people.”

Despite its popularity, the fact remains that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, according to  The fight is not over till breast cancer is cured, with awareness being the first step.


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