Amanda Barvinchak, a USF student and member of Kappa Alpha Theta, passed away on Sept. 18 after a long battle with cancer. She was loved by many, especially her Theta sisters. Following her memorial, her sorority sisters had trouble deciding what would be the best way to celebrate her life the way she would have wanted it. They agreed on “Dance for Amanda,” a fundraiser to celebrate the life of their sister on Oct. 20.
When it came to deciding what fundraising event would be most appropriate to honor her, organizer and Theta sister Adule Dajani said that the sorority looked over everything they loved about Barvinchak. They wanted to create a truly “Amanda-themed celebration,” Dajani said. For those who knew Barvinchak well, dancing to celebrate her life seemed the most fitting. She was, according to Dajani, “the first on the dance floor; [she was] always bopping.” Funds raised from the event will go to the American Cancer Society and Barvinchak’s family.
Appropriately, the event “Dance for Amanda” was bopping. Pink decorations lined the walls, and the centerpiece of the event included pictures of her, which were strung over a painted quote reading, “to know her was to love her.” This quote encapsulated the general feelings her sorority sisters had toward her, as she was someone they all thought of as a charming, “bright light” anyone would want to get to know. Dajani herself was all smiles and “happy that everyone was celebrating.”
Everyone was getting down to the music, and their excitement reflected the lighthearted, fun vibes felt around the room. It was heartwarming to see students and alumni enjoying themselves and celebrating the life of an amazing girl, even though some of the attendees never had the chance to meet her.
To those who did know Amanda, she was an inspiration. The event was an incredibly special way to give back in honor of her, in a way her Theta sisters hope she would have wanted.