Behind the Scenes at MTM

This blog is a day-to-day update of what is going on in Mu Tau Mu. Eventually we'll move the older journal entries from our livejournal space but for now to read the archives (entries prior to May 19, 2005), head over to

Things you'll hear about here include notification that new photos or other items are posted on our private website (more about the site is here), more detail on our activities than you see in our month-by-month history blog, news from Case, news from the collegiate chapter, news from Alpha Chi Omega at large, and occasionally fun new ideas on their way to implementation. Links to the private site will take you directly to the item mentioned.

To protect the privacy of our members, only first names will be given.

Zero to Sixty in Three Days

Thank you to CWRU Alpha Chi Omega alumna Michel ZU '84 for sharing this article she wrote about her recent Susan Komen for the Cure 3-Day experience. Check out our earlier post supporting her and the cause here. And, if you haven't already, please consider making a donation. Thanks!

Mikey (on right) on day 2 of the 3-Day

Zero to sixty in three days

by Michel Hodges

I live on E. 151st in the Shore Acres neighborhood and I recently had the privilege of walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure breast cancer walk held in Cleveland July 30th-August 1st. Yes I use the word "privilege" for many reasons. I feel privileged that I'm in good enough health to have done this walk. More importantly I feel privileged to have shared a weekend with some of the bravest, funniest, and well-dressed (hah!) people I'll ever meet.  Those people included my teammates on "Heart and Sole Sisters", Sherrie, Tobi, Linda and Theresa. Linda was diagnosed a year ago and is doing great. Theresa is a 2 time survivor and is 71 years old! You go girls! Most importantly I feel privileged to have raised part of the $2.5 million that was contributed right here in Cleveland to find a cure for breast cancer.

So why did I do this walk? Why did I spend a weekend in a little pink tent where the only toilets were the kind that get trucked away and you don't have to flush? Why did I spend a weekend assessing my feet every 2-3 miles in pit stops to tend to possible blisters? Why did I spend a weekend walking from downtown Cleveland to Bay Village to Berea in a ratty looking fushia pink wig wearing plastic baggies filled with ice as a fashion accessory around my neck? Because too many people I love have been stricken with breast cancer and I want to find a cure!

My family has been struck 3 times with this disease; my mom and 2 of her sisters. My mom managed to beat this disease not once but twice. My Aunt Kay was also a survivor but my Aunt Helen wasn't as fortunate. Friends who have had breast cancer include Bonnie and Judy. Judy is another angel watching from heaven but Bonnie is a survivor in every sense of the word. She just had her 1 year checkup and is clear, hooray! She and I were at the Home & Garden show in February when she spied the Susan G. Komen table and wanted to check it out. She sent away for information about the walk and gave me a DVD to watch. I cried through the whole thing and turned into a "Pink Warrior" that evening. 

Being a "Pink Warrior" involved attending a Getting Started meeting which I did March 16th. I think it was no coincidence that this meeting was the day before my Aunt Kay's birthday March 17th. At the meeting I learned more about what the Susan G. Komen foundation does and what would be expected of me.  

3-Day for the Cure net proceeds help pay for vital global breast cancer research and local community programs supporting education, screening and treatment. Komen for the Cure paid for half a million breast screenings in 2009—part of a nearly $1.5 billion commitment to research, advocacy and community programs since Komen was founded in 1982. 

My part in this was to raise $2300 for the Cure and walk 60 miles.  've been a bit lax in the exercise department over the years so this was a great opportunity to develop some good walking habits. Most of my training walks were done solo since I never knew when I was going to find time to walk but I did attend a couple of group walks. Susan G. Komen has developed a training schedule which I tried to follow and when I did my first 10 mile walk I was really psyched. I thought,  "Ok, I just did the first morning's mileage.  I can DO this!"

The fundraising part has been tougher than I thought it would be. As of August 3rd I've raised $1,466.00 and have until September 1st to raise the remaining $834. Any balance left at that point will be billed directly to me. I knew going in I would ultimately be responsible for any money not raised but I didn't let that possibility deter me from doing this. I believe so strongly in this cause that I'm confident the rest of the money will come in. I'm participating in the St. Jerome yard sale August 7th and will continue to solicit friends, neighbors and probably ask local businesses if I can do a "Pink Kettle" campaign at their doors. So I learned a good lesson for next year.  Start early and ask LOUDLY.

Yes I will definitely walk this again next year. It's amazing how quickly 60 miles goes by when you have fellow walkers to talk to and laugh and sing with. Fellow walkers included breast cancer survivors and people currently undergoing treatment. There was endless encouragement from people driving down the street honking at us and people in their front yards with candy, lemonade, and, my personal favorite, SPRINKLERS! We also had safety volunteers at busy intersections to make sure nobody got run over or turned the wrong way.  hey were dressed in pirate attire and gave plenty of high 5's. Great pirate jokes too! 

And if I did get tired or behind (like my team mate Tobi and I did Sunday because of a Dairy Queen stop) no problem.  There were vans to take us to the next pit stop. And these weren't just any vans! There was the Boob Marley's complete with reggae music and a palm tree growing from their back bumper.  The ladies in the  Bippity Boppity Boobs van treated us like princes and princesses.  The couple in Ta Ta Transport had yummy candy and fun pins. The Strike Out Cancer van was on a "roll" with bowling pins hanging from their bumper. Who wouldn't want to walk 60 miles with all this fun going on?

Make no mistake though. Finding a cure is no joke. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and is the leading cause of death among women worldwide. More than 465,000 die from the disease each year. Somewhere in the world, a woman dies from breast cancer every 68 seconds. And this is not just a women's disease. For every 100 people diagnosed with breast cancer 1 is a man. The good news though is that when detected early the 5 year survival rate is 98%. And from personal experience I can tell you that the new digital mammography machines are WAY more comfortable than what has been used in the past. So don't put it off. Go get your mammogram! After that go to the Susan G. Komen website for more information about breast health and learn about their programs including the 3 Day Walk. I'd love to have you join us next year!

To make a donation on Michel's behalf you can do any one of the following:

*Online donations can be made by going to

*Checks can be mailed to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, PO BOX 660843, Dallas, TX 75266-0843.  Please note Michel's Participant ID# 5026631 on your check.

*Phone Donations can be made by calling: 800-996-3DAY


New Song Added: Scarlet Ribbons

See the Alpha Chi Omega Songs page for a new addition to the musical fun - Scarlet Ribbons. It's third from the top of the page. Enjoy!

Thanks to our AXO Convention Choir Director, Audra, for the continuing catalog of downloadable music!!

Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010 at 08:29PM by Registered CommenterMTM Exec Board in , , , | CommentsPost a Comment

Celebrating Back to School at CWRU!

Fall semester at CWRU begins this coming Monday, August 23rd. The Alpha Chi Omega collegians at Zeta Upsilon chapter will kick out the new year with a Sisterhood Retreat on Sunday, August 22nd, and we are proud to provide lunch for that event! Thank you, Maura ZU '87, for organizing the details for the lunch! 

To wish the chapter a successful/fun/happy semester, send a note to the house at 11421 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106. 

2010-11 is the Year of Water at Case Western Reserve University. Read more about the year long exploration of water at

The start of the new academic year also marks the beginning of a new year for us. Can you believe we are starting our 7th year as an alumnae chapter? We had our first Exec Board meeting of the new year last Sunday and set some great goals for the next 3-5 years. We look forward to sharing more as our preliminary plans come together, and of course, all members are welcome at our Exec meetings, which tentatively will be held on the second Sunday evening of the month at 9pm EST this year. 

Alpha Chi Omega Songs Page Updated

We are pleased to announce that, thanks to our Alpha Chi Omega Convention Choir Director, Audra, we have twenty new songs and chants available in digital audio format for download on the Alpha Chi Omega songs page! See the new files here. Also available is the National Convention Songbook 2010 in PDF format. 



Philanthropy Friday - Susan G Komen 3-Day & Iron Man!

Please join us in cheering on our CWRU Alpha Chi Omega sisters as they participate in some grueling athletic events to raise money for great causes!

Kudos to Michel ZU '84 being part of the Susan G. Komen Cleveland 3-Day for the Cure, which kicked off this morning. Donate here or cheer her on in person - visit a cheering station this weekend - listed here

Bravo to Yvonne ZU '99 for competing in her first Iron Man tomorrow in Santa Rosa, CA to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Donate here or cheer her on as she completes the 140.6 mile course!!

Thanks for making us proud!!