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'Miles for Milan:' Sorority walks for lost sister

By Briana SmithSTAFF WRITER

A Hofstra sorority raised over $1,000 in honor of a sister who passed away this past year.

Cristina “Milan” El Shahawi, a Phi Sigma Sigma sister and Hofstra graduate, was killed in a car accident in California on Feb. 6, 2013. The Phi Sigma Sigma sisters did not want their “fun, laidback, easygoing” sister to be forgotten.

On the chilly morning of Nov. 23, Hofstra Greek organizations, Adelphi’s Phi Sigma Sigma chapter, alumni and parents bundled up to walk for the first annual “Miles for Milan” fundraiser. The money raised at the walk will help fund the Cristina El Shahawi Epsilon Kappa Scholarship Fund.

The two-mile walk was held at the Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Participants paid $5 prior or $7 at the walk. Along with money raised from the donation participation, raffle tickets could also be purchased to win gift certificates from European Wax Center, Beach Bum Tanning and Something Greek.

They raised over $1,300, according to Brie Schachtel, a fellow sister, and coordinator of the event. El Shahawi was the Spring 2011 recruitment chair and influential in Schachtel’s decision to join Phi Sigma Sigma.

“I planned this walk to help Cristina’s name live on and to raise money for a scholarship fund we’ve created in her honor,” Schachtel said. “I think Cristina would have been so proud of how many people came out to honor her and to celebrate the life she lived. My sisters and I know she was there walking with us on Saturday.”

Phi Sigma Sigma hung numerous fliers around campus and heavily promoted the walk on social media in hopes of a large turnout. Fall 2012 Hofstra graduate and Shahawi’s little in the sorority, Pauline Kania, made it an obligation to attend the event.

“I think she would’ve been happy that people will forever remember her name and that she impacted our lives enough that we dedicated a scholarship in her name,” Kania said. “She was a really great person who deserves to be remembered forever.”

Though the event had some challenges, overall the Phi Sigma Sigma sisters felt that the event was beneficial for the community and, most importantly, El Shahawi’s legacy.

“We hit some rough patches Saturday morning but at the end of the day we raised money for the scholarship, people left with smiles on their faces and we made Cristina proud and that is all that matters,” Schachtel said. “I cannot wait to see what the next annual chair’s have in store for us for the second annual ‘Miles for Milan.”

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