Section: News

DKE and Theta host outdoor Shawn Kelly Holiday Party

DKE and Theta host outdoor Shawn Kelly Holiday Party


On Dec. 2 and 3, Kenyon’s chapters of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and Theta Delta Phi (Theta) co-hosted the 30th annual Shawn Kelly Holiday Party.

The event honors the legacy of former Kenyon student and DKE member Shawn Kelly, who passed away during his first year in 1990. The Greek organizations held the party in partnership with Knox County Head Start, a nonprofit agency that provides early education and family services to low-income families in Knox County. The annual celebration is Head Start’s largest event of the year, with over 400 attendees this year.

The event, held outside the Lowry Center in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols, provided Knox County children with hot meals and gifts from Santa, in addition to offering family-friendly activities such as cookie decorating and bounce houses. Multiple Kenyon student volunteers from various Greek organizations helped the event run smoothly, and the Kokosingers a cappella group performed. 

Though historically hosted only by DKE and Head Start since the first event in 1991, Theta hosted the event when DKE was temporarily suspended in 2018, and they have worked together ever since.

“Theta was absolutely instrumental in every aspect of the holiday festival this year,” DKE President Andrew Kotler ’22 wrote in an email to the Collegian. “DKE is extremely excited to continue this partnership going forward.”

Kotler described Kelly as a “great guy” who took pride in giving back to the community. “This event does a great job at honoring his legacy,” he said. “This event truly means a lot to the kids of Knox County. … The pure joy that children get from this event is so amazing to see.”


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