Alpha Phi Omega President Winnie Ho hands a check to executive director Lee-Ellen Marvin of the Suicide Prevention and Service in a ceremony last Wednesday.

Courtesy of The Sophie Fund

Alpha Phi Omega President Winnie Ho hands a check to executive director Lee-Ellen Marvin of the Suicide Prevention and Service in a ceremony last Wednesday.

February 1, 2018

Students Donate Over $800 to Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services of Ithaca

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The late Sophie Hack MacLeod ’14, who died by suicide in 2016, loved to bake.

In her honor, Cornell’s Alpha Phi Omega, along with Active Minds at Ithaca College and The Sophie Fund, sold five-dollar button pins emblazoned with a cupcake icon in several locations and donated the money raised to the Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services of Ithaca on Wednesday.

In total, the three organizations donated a check of $829.50 to SPCS after fundraising in their respective campuses, two GreenStar Natural Food Market store locations and at the Apple Festival in the Commons in September.

The Sophie Fund chose to donate the funds to the Ithaca SPCS because of its work in mental health education, crisis counseling and its establishment of a suicide hotline service.

“All the funds raised in the button campaign were given to SPCS with no strings attached, for them to use as needed,” said Scott MacLeod, Sophie’s father and an officer of The Sophie Fund.

“We sincerely thank Alpha Phi Omega and Active Minds, as well as all the many people who made generous donations, for supporting the cause of suicide prevention in Tompkins County,” MacLeod added.

Winnie Ho ’19, president of APO, said she was moved by the community’s reaction to the cause and was proud of how the organizations worked together.

“It was incredible to see how Ithaca came together to support the mental health of college students and incredibly touching to have a chance to talk to so many people who cared,” she said.

The cupcake button campaign aimed to not only raise money but also to raise awareness about the prevalence of mental health challenges faced by college students.

“We recognize how important mental health is to us, as a organization dedicated to public service, but also as college students who often find ourselves and our peers in stressful circumstances on this campus,” Ho said.

“Through volunteering for these issues … we are also further breaking stigmas of addressing mental health topics and that we are connecting students who care to the causes they are passionate about,” she added.