ATO & ZTA Remember THON Child With Extra Set Of Letters, ‘Lil Drippy God’ Shirts

The letters that decorate the stands of the Bryce Jordan Center spend their time waving high throughout THON. In addition their normal org letters, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority are holding an extra set a little higher this weekend as they honor their THON child, Joyce Ortiz. 

Ortiz, 18, passed away on January 30 after battling Ewing sarcoma since 2015.  

Joyce was paired with ATO and ZTA in November 2018. However, the two organizations didn’t meet Joyce until THON 2019. 

“She was super quiet and didn’t come out of her shell until ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ came on in the final four hours of THON and she just broke out and rapped the whole thing.” ZTA Finance THON Chair Caitlin Brennan said. “After THON, we would text and Snapchat her. I would drive every week to visit her in Hershey this summer. She just became part of our family.” 

Courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha

Joyce visited campus again in October for the annual THON 5K where ATO’s Overall THON chair pushed her all the way through the race. Afterward, Joyce visited the ATO house, something she had been looking forward to doing. 

As Brennan mentioned, Joyce loved rap and had her own rapper name, “Lil Drippy God.”ATO and ZTA had shirts made that included Joyce’s rap name as well as her face on the back. The THON partners sported the shirts for a few hours during THON. 

Another love of Joyce’s was kendamas.

Courtsey of Zeta Tau Alpha

“She loved kendamas so we ordered her a custom kendama. I don’t think I’ve seen a happier smile on her than when she got those.” ATOFamily Relations Chair Chuck Myers said. 

Losing Joyce so close to THON has been hard on the two organizations, but they are doing their best to enjoy the weekend in Joyce’s honor. 

“Everything we do is for her. Every single cent we raised this year was for her,” Brennan said. “We know she knows that and we will never stop fighting for her.”

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a senior, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)!

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