Pi Phi Shows Love to Suffering Sisters
While most UC Irvine Greeks are recruiting new members this week, one sorority is in mourning. Two Pi Beta Phi sorority sisters, Lianne Takamori, a UCI alumna in engineering, and Celia Aceves, a UCI alumna in Spanish, lost family members this summer. Pi Beta Phi has been expressing their condolences by fundraising on behalf of their families.
Takamori, who graduated last June, lost both of her parents to a random shooting in Honolulu, Hawaii. Takamori spoke with her parents, Jason and Colleen Takamori on the phone on the night of July 6, just before their visit to Tantalus Lookout Point on the island of Oahu.
Fifteen minutes later, a strange man gunned them down. Both died on the scene before paramedics could arrive.
The shooter, Adam Mau-Goffredo, has already been indicted by a grand jury in Oahu and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, according to the Honolulu Advertiser. He had not been taking his medication for six months before the incident, according to the report, and was also charged with killing the taxi driver who drove him to Tantalus.
‘It was a very great shock for Lianne,’ said Julie Santiano, UCI alumna and Takamori’s sorority sister. ‘She’s just so grateful that she got to speak to her parents before they died, because not everybody gets to do that. … She’s just such a trooper. She’s incredibly strong.’
Within a week, another sorority sister suffered a loss. Aceves, who also graduated last June, had recently moved to a new house in Chino Hills. Her father, Juan Aceves, died from a heart attack on July 12.
‘She’s doing well, considering the circumstances,’ said Suzanne Evans, another UCI alumna and Aceves’ roommate.
After the death of Celia’s father, Santiano decided something needed to be done in order to support her sisters. As a result, Pi Beta Phi is raising funds for Takamori and Aceves by selling T-shirts designed by Santiano. The T-shirts, which are white with black lettering, spell out the word ‘LOVE’ in an ambigram; it can be read rightside-up and upside-down.
‘The proceeds from the sales will be split in half and go directly to [Lianne and Celia] and to their families,’ Santiano said.
‘We’re just trying to pull together to find a way to help out, so we figured this might be a good way to do that,’ Evans said.
Since starting the fundraiser over a month and a half ago, Pi Beta Phi’s show of ‘LOVE’ has garnered more than $1,500 in donations, from sister sororities and well-wishers as far away as New York, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii and Canada. Locally, groups such as Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Chi Omega have all shown support and expressed sympathy for their fellow UCI Greeks.
The T-shirts are available in both men’s and women’s sizes and are being sold through Julie Santiano or through the Pi Beta Phi memorial website. For information on how to show your support, go to http://memorial.ucipiphi.com.