The ladies of Chi Omega kicked off Family Weekend Sept. 27 with their Make-A-Wish Barbecue at the Bowld Commons and on the Grace Quads lawn.
The annual event raises funds for Chi Omega’s philanthropy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ashley Garrett, senior nursing major, said 600 tickets were sold this year.
Savannah Hari, senior sports medicine major, said the purpose of the barbecue is to provide a meal for families during Family Weekend, but even more so to raise money for Chi Omega’s philanthropy, the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Every spring the sorority grants a wish to a child, and the money raised at the barbecue will be used to make that happen, Hari said, adding that the barbecue has been going on at Union for the past 10 years but was formerly held as a plate lunch event.
At that time, the event was hosted on the intramural fields while students were playing games.
In all, Hari said the event is “just a time of fellowship and fun” and everyone is invited.
This year’s barbecue was different than in past years, in light of the recent death of Chi Omega sister Leighton Williams.
Williams died in a car accident the Saturday before the cookout was held, and the following week was “probably one of the most difficult weeks many of us had ever been through,” Hari said.
Hari said the situation gave a whole new meaning to the event.
“While we love granting wishes, the barbecue meant a lot because of Leighton,” Hari said. “She loved giving and serving, and what better way to celebrate her life than giving back and making a difference?”