The Greek rivalry notwithstanding, a McMinnville mother and her daughter had reason to celebrate April 5 in a charity fundraiser at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
UTK freshman Bliss Zechman was one of the dancers on the Phi Mu team which claimed top honors in the Panhellenic Council’s GreekBeat hip-hop competition. Her mother, Christie Zechman, an education diagnostician in the Warren County School System, was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha when she was a UTK student. The current “Zetas,” as they are known, cinched second-place in the friendly competition in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Last weekend’s GreekBeat raised over $10,000 to be applied toward the estimated $35,000 cost of building a school for girls in one of the developing countries, UTK Panhellenic Council president Katherine Johnson announced to the audience. All 14 sororities at the Knoxville university participated in the high-energy fundraiser.
Sororities across the United States generate funds the non-profit Circle of Sisterhood, which builds the schools for girls in impoverished areas where chronic economic hardship, cultural traditions and sometimes armed conflict would otherwise put basic education out of reach for females.
The host nation for the UTK girls school will be determined on the basis of local need and community resources that can be mobilized to help with the construction, Panhellenic representative Grace Davis explained. She said the sororities will hold two more charity events, with details yet to be formulated, to complete the funding package.
Bliss, who is majoring in mass communication and broadcasting at UTK, was also a member of a national championship dance team in 2013 when she was a student at Spotlite Dance Academy in Smyrna.