In the empty Holly Hills Burlington Mall on a quiet Saturday morning, a contagious burst of energy radiates from one room. The loud music, laughter and joy originated from a group of over 19 women, who were all dancing and wearing their brightest blue at 9 a.m. on Feb. 10.
Burlington’s local Pi Kappa Zeta Graduate Chapter held their second annual walk-a-thon, where members of the community helped raise money for the American Heart Association.
Tonya Stanley ’94 was one of eight members who re-charted a chapter of Pi Kappa Zeta for Burlington graduates in 2013. Stanley said Pi Kappa Zeta is committed to their four principles: “Scholarship, sisterhood, service and finer womanhood.”
The walk-a-thon was part of their Z-HOPE program, where they focus on organizations to help in the community. One of those organizations is the American Heart Association, which aligns with their Z-HOPE mission to help prevent, cure and/or manage self-care issues through health awareness.
One walker, Michelle Thomas, said this event helped motivate her to exercise.
“What better way to do it than with a group?” Thomas said.
The “Zetas Have Heart” walk-a-thon ended around 11 a.m.; however, it was up to the walkers to decide how much or how little they wanted to walk.
Secretary of the Pi Kappa Zeta chapter Carolyn Nelson said she was walking because her dad died of a heart attack.
“It's all personal, just trying to make a change,” Nelson said.
Sonya Stanley – Tonya’s twin – said all of the chapters internationally are observing or supporting something to show they support healthy living.
Sonya said people came from as far as Roxboro, North Carolina — which is about an hour away from Burlington.
Sonya also said they were carrying out another initiative today of making Valentines Day cards for seniors in living facilities. The home they work with is Blakey Hall in Elon.
Five Elon alumni walked today, including Pi Zeta Kappa Vice President Kristin Rogers.
“It's nice to see people just come together for one unified cause,” Rogers said. “This cause is that important.”
According to Sonya, Pi Kappa Zeta is focusing on giving back to the Alamance County community and hopes to build more partnerships with the surrounding areas.
Sonya also said this would be a great opportunity for Elon students to get involved with their community. She hopes to see more students next year, especially those affiliated with Greek life.