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Fun and fundraising went hand in hand at alpha Kappa Delta Phi’s Breast Cancer Awareness Coffeehouse.

On Oct. 16, Penn’s aKDPhi chapter hosted their 14th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Coffeehouse, featuring a variety of Penn performing arts groups from KLASS to PennHype, as well as food catered by a diverse mix of restaurants, such as Au Bon Pain and Thai Singha House. There were also many raffle prizes given away that evening — gift cards for local businesses like Sweetgreen and Federal Donuts.

Drawn to both entertainment and a good cause, hundreds of attendees packed the room, cheering for their favorite singing and dance groups. All the proceeds from ticket sales were donated to Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, an organization that supports breast cancer research and awareness, with which aKDPHi has a longstanding partnership on a national level. 

This year’s coffeehouse was organized by College sophomore Kathy Zhang and College junior Michelle Jo, the sorority’s community service co-chairs for the semester. The two have worked hard to reach out to caterers and performing arts groups, and have persisted through scheduling conflicts and other challenges to bring the event to life.

“I’m most excited about seeing everything come to fruition. Me and Michelle worked so hard on this over the past six months and I’m really excited to see all the people coming to see the performers, coming for the food, coming to learn more about Avon Breast Cancer Crusade,” Zhang said before the event.

Though the BCA Coffeehouse is now the sorority’s flagship community service event, it didn't start out as the big event it is today.

“We started on a smaller scale, so not as many performing arts groups and attendees. They may have even cooked their own food for the first Coffeehouse. Now, we’ve started asking for donations and reached out to local businesses. It’s definitely expanded not only in attendance, but also in scope,” Melanie Mariano, Nursing senior and president of aKDPhi, said. “My favorite part [of Coffeehouse is] the performances — they’re so diverse and it’s so exciting to see, and without them Coffeehouse wouldn’t be the way it is today.”

While the Coffeehouse certainly is an enjoyable event for everyone, its first and foremost goal is to support breast cancer research.

“Our biggest push is to get the word out there about breast cancer research and to just raise awareness as well as fundraise for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade,” Belinda Ly, College senior and vice president of programming of aKDPhi said. “I love the sense of community [at Coffeehouse] — when you’re in there and you see everything come to life and just the energy that goes around is amazing, seeing that all these people can rally together to support a singular cause.”

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