Chi Upsilon Sigma and Nu Delta Pi hosted its fourth annual Lupus Ball at the East Campus gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Raising over $600, it was a sold out crowd! These sisters and brothers decided to bring awareness to something rare with the delight of untold stories, music and food.
"LupUS affects US but together we are stronger!" is a motto the sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma follow.
At the door, freshman Yanira Crenge, majoring in political science, and junior Ariel Rimpson, majoring in education with a history concentration, greeted guests as they handed in their tickets and entered their ID numbers. Sofia Bandeira, majoring in psychology, wrapped blue wristbands on each person before entering the event.
Immediately when entering, the sounds of music and the smell of food filled the ears and noses of guests.
An explosion of purple decorated the gymnasium. Each table was displayed with a purple table cloth, a center vase filled with Rice Krispie treats and a pamphlet in front of each seat. The stage towards the front of the gym had balloon stands that also displayed the purple and white. Up front was a television that showed photos and quotes of the sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma and brothers of Nu Delta Pi on their journey of donating towards lupus.
There was a wall of food that took up six tables. There was rice and beans, chicken, empanadas, ziti, salad and more. Guests were able to help themselves to drinks and deserts as they waited for the event to commence.
As the sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma and the brothers of Nu Delta Pi greeted their guests and thanked them for coming, Treasurer Ermelly Diaz, a senior majoring in biology, noted, "We have a bunch of sisters who have lupus, it is something personal to us. We wanted to bring awareness to something that is rare."
The host was Vice President of Chi Upsilon Sigma Megan Barbosa. She introduced speakers as well as raised the spirits of guests in between sessions.
There were three special guest speakers who spoke in between sessions, Joanna Mendez, Lucille Kelly and Ashlie Flores, all of whom have lupus and decided to share their story.
Mendez went through various tests and does not know if she would be here if it was not for the support of her family. Her father was also at the Lupus Ball and spoke on her behalf of having lupus and her difficulties.
Mendez said, "Don't let lupus control your life. You control it."
Kelly, a mother, found out she had lupus when her son was only 2 years old. As she knew this would be a struggle, she remained strong minded and encouraged anyone who has lupus to fight back.
Flores, a junior majoring in psychology, is a current student at Kean University and sister of Chi Upsilon Sigma, shocked the crowd. This was Flores' first time telling everyone her devastating news.
In the summer of 2016, she found out she had lupus. Her mother also had lupus, and she watched her go through all of these troubles and never thought it would also happen to her. Without having a positive mindset, she does not know if she would be able to get through this.
Flores stated, "I want to thank my sisters of Chi Upsilon Sigma for the support and love. I love you."
Towards the end, Barbosa brought each speaker to the stage and gave them each a certificate and flowers from Chi Upsilon Sigma's and Nu Delta Pi's appreciation.
As the event was coming to an end, Tiara Muslim, a freshman majoring in communication, shared, "I felt like this was very informative. I didn't know a lot about lupus so this event was worth coming to. The food was good and it is all for a good cause. It was an overall nice outing."
After the tears were wiped away and the music kicked up, the dance floor opened up!
Chi Upsilon Sigma President Anais Peralta stated, "Lupus is a rare disease that not everyone knows about. Not only do we want to bring awareness to it but encourage others to speak about it. We want people to enjoy themselves, eat food, dance, but most of all we want them to know that lupus exists and each day is a different fight."
This event was full of various emotions from tearing up to dancing and smiling. Barbosa closed out the Lupus Ball by thanking all who contributed to making this event possible, most of all to the audience and other organizations for making this event come to life.