Members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority are keeping alive the spirit of service embodied by Northwestern State University alumna Sharon Sampité with their 6th annual cycling trek across Natchitoches Parish.
On October 11, 2014, fraternity and sorority members took part in the 25-mile ‘Cycling for Sharon’ bicycle ride, which raises funding for two NSU scholarships in the Sampité family name.
Sharon Sampité, who lost her battle with cancer in 2009, was a staff member in NSU’s Alumni & Development office and an alumna of Sigma Sigma Sigma. During her life, she inspired many with her dedication to service, pride in the city of Natchitoches and her love of her alma mater. Following her diagnosis with cancer in 2006, she was instrumental in organizing area cancer outreach and support groups to mentor other cancer patients.
Her father, Joe Sampité, a longtime Natchitoches mayor and alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, was instrumental in the creation of the project and remained involved in the annual event until his death in 2012.
Members of both Greek organizations made up the cycling team: Pi Kappa Phi members Sean Austin, Anthony Hunter, alumnus Cory Wilson, and Sigma Sigma Sigma members Abigail Bass, Michael St. Andre, and Katrina Haymond. Their early morning ride followed a course along Highway 494, south of Natchitoches, through the Cane River National Heritage Area, to Highway 1 near Natchez, and ended with a ceremony at the Pi Kappa Phi clock in the NSU Alumni Plaza.
“Both Sharon and Joe were so important to the Natchitoches and Northwestern communities, so we hope ‘Cycling for Sharon’ will inspire others to lead lives of service, just as they did,” Austin said.
This year’s project raised more than $567 for the Sharon Sampité, John and Allison Van Hoof Educational Scholarship administered through the NSU Foundation and the Sampité Family Baseball Scholarship administered through the Demons Unlimited Foundation.
“The Alpha Zeta chapter of Tri Sigma places great value and importance in service particularly in the Natchitoches area,” Tri Sigma member Hana Steingold said. “By participating in this service project we continue to remember Sharon and the wonderful Tri Sigma woman she was.”