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3 Reasons to Fund the Laura Lea Lewis O'Brien Scholarship

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

All donations are tax deductible

This November, Sigma Psi Sigma will be assisting the O'Brien family in fundraising for the Laura Lea O'Brien scholarship. We hope you will join us in this loving tribute to a true Real. Strong. Woman.

Who was Laura Lea O'Brien?

For many of you, that question does not need to be answered. She was your sister, for some - she was your pledge sister, your chapter president, your partner in crime, your tailgate buddy, your Die Hard Cougar Football fan, and maybe your pharmacist. To her husband, he was her college sweetheart. For one lucky AXO Sister and two men; she was Mom.

For others; like me, I learned about Laura Lea from those who love her.

Too Soon

On April 28, 2023 hundreds if not thousands of AXO alumnae and collegians were shocked with a post or a text notifying them of the unthinkable. At the young age of 52, Laura Lea O'Brien suffered a brain aneurysm and would no longer be with us. Soon afterwards, her daughter, Darby, and Omega chapter sisters created a 501c scholarship through the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation in Laura Lea's memory to benefit Omega collegiate members.

Now, let's look at three great reasons to help fund this scholarship.

#1: An Enduring Connection

In the world of grief therapy, a Harvard psychologist named James Worden developed a healthy grieving framework referred to as The Four Tasks of Grieving. The fourth task recognizes that even though your person is gone, the joy and warmth that you felt when you were with your loved one, is still a part of you. By creating an enduring connection, such as a scholarship, you are able to still feel that connection in your new life.

Personally, I sponsor the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration each year in memory of my Dad and it brings me immeasurable joy. Carla Pittman will be celebrating her Mother next month when we hold the first Darlene Sutton Memorial Christmas Tea.

#2: Sisterhood & Teamwork

I'm not going to lie. It's a heavy lift to fund this very important scholarship. The AXO Foundation must received $25,000 in funding to begin awarding annual $1,000 scholarships. However, while it's unlikely that one of us will make this happen - I know ALL of us can make this happen.

We need contributions from people who knew Laura Lea and from people; like me, who didn't know her but who value her contributions and her example. For me, it feels good to align my financial contributions with my values.

#3: The Scholarship benefits the Omega Chapter

Laura Lea was a member of MC ‘88, and served as VP-RF in 1990 and Chapter President in 1991. She was an active advisory board member, Ritual Advisor, and Omega Chapter Parent's Club President. In short, Laura Lea's fingerprints are all over the WSU Chapter. She knew how to excite the collegians as well as the alumnae. Her spirit most definitely lives on in many places and one location is certainly at 735 NE Monroe St. Pullman, WA. Let's show our collegians how we remember our sisters - especially those that dedicated hours upon hours to build a loving community for all who ran home to Alpha Chi Omega on Monroe Street.

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