Photo: Lauren Horsch
To many, the inside of a Drake sorority house may be a bit of a mystery. Girls come and girls go, but unlike the fraternity houses that host an occasional party, the sororities keep their doors shut for the most part. But last Friday night, the ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta opened their doors, inviting the entirety of Drake’s campus to gather for their annual Cakes for CASA fundraiser.
CASA stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates, which is a group dedicated to helping out families, especially children, going through the court system. According to Theta sophomore Erin Donegan, the advocates serve as a set of eyes for the judge, making sure children are being fed, going to school and otherwise being properly cared for. Theta co-service chair and junior Emily Carrico explained that Theta chapters around the country support CASA as the sorority’s philanthropy, creating “unity between all Theta chapters.”
For many years, Theta hosted what was known as Kicks for CASA, a kickball tournament to raise money for this charity.
“The teams were just [Greek] houses, though,” Donegan said.
So in an attempt to invite the entire Drake community to get involved with the philanthropy event, a new idea was implemented last year called Cakes for CASA, where students purchase tickets and gather in the basement of the Theta house to eat pancakes and sausage on a Friday night. The idea was a hit and so it continued on this year.
Theta sold 533 tickets, far surpassing its goal of 400.
“From 7-8 (p.m.) we had a line curling out our front door,” Carrico said. The basement was packed with Drake students and families.
One such attendant was sophomore Matt Andrews, who said he was just “supporting the cause and getting some good pancakes with friends.” Donegan said that the switch from softball was made because pancakes had a better community appeal.
With a large attendance, however, things are bound to go wrong.
“At around 8 [p.m.], I was shocked to learn that in the first hour we already used about three-fourths of the pancake mix that we’d planned to last the whole night,” Carrico said. “I was fairly concerned and wasn’t sure we’d be able to keep up that rate all night. Immediately, we sent two people out to two different (Hy-Vee stores) to buy them out of Hy-Vee brand pancake mix, which they did.”
Carrico estimates the sorority used about 60 packages of pancake mix with griddles running from 6:45-11:15 p.m., resulting in six separate trips to the store that night. She added that there was also a problem with running so many griddles in the kitchen.
“The electrical outlets kept popping, and we had to move things around to accommodate the amount of power the kitchen was able to supply,” Carrico said. “We actually moved the microwave into the pantry…I was in constant fear that we were going to blow a fuse and plunge the whole basement into darkness. It was a huge relief that that didn’t happen.”
With such a huge attendance, Theta was able to raise a sizable amount of money for CASA. According to Carrico, the sorority earned around $2000 in ticket sales on Friday night alone. She hopes to reveal the final total soon through Theta’s various social media accounts.