Sorority rolls out red carpet for gala
Alpha Phi is painting the town red.
The sorority is holding its annual Red Dress Gala at the Tucson Marriott University Park at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. This will mark the ninth annual gala for the UA chapter, though Alpha Phi chapters nationwide host the event, and they have been supporting heart disease research for more than 50 years.
The money raised by the Red Dress Gala will support Alpha Phi’s efforts to raise awareness about women’s heart disease.
Katy Powers, a communications junior, said the philanthropy event really hits home for sorority members.
“We really value the empowerment of the woman,” Powers said, “and all of our philanthropy comes back to that.”
The event will feature casino games, dancing and other activities, said Mackenzie Neumayr, a communications junior.
“We’re bringing in CatCall [Acappella], so we have a few more entertainers this year, which we’re really excited about,” Neumayr said.
The main events of the gala are the silent and live auctions. Alpha Phi has been working on collecting donations for the two auctions since last March, said Jenny Sale, a marketing junior. The sorority reaches out to community businesses, such as those on University Boulevard, for donations.
The silent auction has smaller items up for grabs, like baskets and gift cards from local stores. The live auction has larger prizes, like trips to Costa Rica and to a ski resort in Oregon.
“We have a Louis Vuitton purse this year, which I’m really excited about,” Sale said, “and we have an autographed bat from the [Los Angeles] Angels.”
Powers said one of the most coveted prizes of the live auction is a chance to live in the Alpha Phi house.
“We auction off spots in our house to live in, because it’s really a competition for girls to live in the house,” Powers said.
The Red Dress Gala is the biggest philanthropic event of the year for Alpha Phi, with two others in the winter and spring.
The event is always during Family Weekend so the families of Alpha Phi members can attend, Neumayr said.
While the event is called the Red Dress Gala, red isn’t mandatory attire. Alpha Phi members wear red, but family members and other guests can wear whatever they like.
“The red dress is kind of a known logo for women’s heart health, and we adopted it for the Alpha Phi event,” Neumayr said.
Last year the event raised more than $15,000, and this year Alpha Phi hopes to raise at least $20,000. All the proceeds raised at the event will go to promote heart health awareness.
“We can choose a hospital or something to do with heart health in the Tucson community and personally donate the money,” Sale said. “Then we actually see what we’re doing, and it’s a really cool thing.”
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