“I love it all,” says Bloomington native Alayna Gray about Tri Kappa. “I don’t even mean to sound cliché. I just like the idea that we can get this group of women together and move forward to help people in the community.”
Alayna joined Tri Kappa in 2014 at the urging of Andrea Cockerham and Tara Babcock. She had worked with several Tri Kappas during her stint on the Boys & Girls Clubs Auxiliary and thought she’d give the local sorority a try.
“Finishing up my five years with the auxiliary, I knew I wanted to continue my volunteer efforts where I could make a difference with a group of like-minded women,” Alayna says.
“I wanted a group that supported each other. I’m shy and introverted, but going to our meetings is never a chore. It’s something I look forward to!”
After her high school years at Bloomington South, Alayna studied early-childhood education at Indiana University before pursuing her master’s degree in school administration at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. That’s where she met her husband, Walt. They have two children, Bryce and Macy.
Alayna has run the gamut of jobs in the education field: teacher, vice principal, principal and now adjunct instructor at IU, where she supervises student teachers. She spent two years of her career working with behaviorally and emotionally challenged children.
Nowadays, she spends a lot of time sitting on school bleachers watching her kids play sports. She has recently taken up gardening — a hobby she started by purchasing a pot of herbs during the Tri Kappa Flower Sale.
Alayna also enjoys her work as a CASA volunteer, genealogy, watching musicals and making candy. She has started her own business, Hoosier Sweets & Treats. She sells caramels, marshmellows, fudge and toffee. She would like to expand into baked goods.
Because she loves everything culinary, Alayna says making cheeseballs every November is her favorite Tri Kappa activity.
“I think that’s a fun day,” Alayna says. “We’re rolling up our sleeves and doing the dirty work to make an impact on the community.”
Alayna also likes participating in Tri Kappa’s Small Sacrifice project each month. She especially enjoys the December collection when sorority members adopt a local family in need and provide them with gifts to open Christmas morning.
“I like the idea that we each can donate something small that leads to something making a much bigger impact,” Alayna says.
More About Alayna:
Loves old movies
Big IU fan
“Antiques Roadshow” junkie
Starts each day with a cuppa joe