Campus Life

Phi Delta Theta holds Sweetheart Pageant for ALS philanthropy

Written for The Argo by Esmeralda Rivera

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity (IFC, Interfraternity Council) held their annual Phi Delta Theta Sweetheart pageant to raise money and awareness for their philanthropy, “Live Like Lou.” The event honors their brothers that have been lost to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and raises money for families and patients affected by the condition. Sisters from Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Zeta, Delta Phi Epsilon, and Sigma Delta Tau signed up to compete in the pageant. There was a total of 10 contestants.

Fernando Martinez (left) and Jack Schiavo (right) kick off the pageant. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Rivera.

The hosts, Fernando Martinez and Jack Schiavo, kept the pageant fun and interesting with banter and jokes. There was never a dull moment thanks to their entertaining antics. At one point, the brothers were struggling with technical difficulties in the middle of the pageant, drawing out a long pause. To avoid the awkwardness, the two brothers started singing Oasis’ “Wonderwall,” much to the audience’s amusement.

The contestants first walked out with Phi Delta Theta brothers escorting them one by one, their entrances varying from dancing to throwing roses for the audience to catch. They then answered randomized questions that were picked out from a bag. The second stage was a Minute-to-Win-It contest, in which the contestants completed a set of humorous and sometimes nearly impossible challenges. Their sisters in the audience loudly cheered and encouraged them all the way, with the hosts watching closely and shouting out their support. Unfortunately for some of the sisters, the brothers’ support was sometimes a bit distracting!

Kristina Henis (left) and Karina Gomez (right) share the Miss Philanthropy award. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Rivera.

The judges then evaluated their scores and chose who would win the title of Phi Delta Theta Sweetheart. The two other awards given were People’s Choice, which was voted by the audience, and Miss Philanthropy, which was awarded to the contestant who raised the most money for the brothers’ cause. The Miss Philanthropy award first went to the Sigma Delta Tau contestant Kristina Henis before it was revealed that another sister, Karina Gomez of Delta Phi Epsilon, had raised more money for the philanthropy. In the end, Gomez and Henis shared the award.

Ultimately, Gianna Brunini of Zeta Tau Alpha won the Phi Delta Sweetheart pageant. When asked how she felt about winning the title, Brunini exclaimed “I can’t wait to be on the [Phi Delta Theta] composite!” The room was filled with excited cheers from her sisters.

Winchester Ploiratana, a third-year Biology major and the Phi Delta Theta philanthropy chair, explained that the money that the event raised went directly to the Live Like Lou Foundation. The donations will fund research efforts and provide resources for those affected by ALS. “We raised a bunch of money. We raised $3,500, and it’s all towards a great cause,” Ploiratana stated.

The four winners of the pageant. Photo courtesy of Esmeralda Rivera.

Katie Rickards, who also competed in the pageant, is a senior Health Science Major and a founder of the Stockton Sigma Delta Tau chapter. She expressed, “My experience overall was very fun, I raised over $400 for this event, so I’m very proud, and I hope to be able to do this again one day!”

Zeta Tau Alpha will be hosting a “Love Is Blind” event on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. Delta Phi Epsilon will be holding their ANAD Fashion Show in the Campus Center Event Room on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m.