By Jessica Darling
Photo by Jessica Darling.
Walking through campus on the night of Saturday, Oct. 3, you could feel the icy chill of an approaching winter with drops of rain here and there. You could also hear the sounds of people cheering and the pulse of music coming from Soberfest, an event hosted by Phi Delta Theta at their house on Fraternity Circle.
Phi Delta Theta’s annual philanthropy, now in its fifth year, raises money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In previous years, they were able to hold the entire event in their house, with between 200 and 300 people in attendance. However, due to the increased awareness of ALS because of the ice bucket challenge, this year, the fraternity had an outside concert to accompany the party inside—and their biggest turnout yet, with between 900 and 1,000 people attending.
Phi Delta Theta raised $15,000 at Soberfest this year to donate to the ALS Foundation.
“The raise in awareness from ALS from this summer’s ice bucket challenge really helped the popularity of the event,” says Clifford Glowacki, senior theatre studies major and Phi Delta Theta’s international philanthropy chair. “We saw a stronger turnout from the community and people who aren’t in Greek organizations.”
A crowd of people danced with glow sticks under strobe lights, and smoke poured from a smoke machine. Tyler Boshane, DJ Mimo, Dominic Parisi and Evan Evolution gave live stage performances, and the fraternity provided an endless amount of Red Bull, all for a single entry cost of $10.
“Soberfest is probably one of my favorite events in the Greek community to participate in,” says Jessica Redding, senior public health major. “It’s such a fun event—dancing with your friends and trying all the different energy drinks they have to offer and just getting to know people.”
Anyone could create a name for one of the specialty drinks offered for $40. Names ranged from Turtle Bomb 2.0, Phi’yonce and Jay Tea, Chi-O-Rita, Phi’re Ball, Three Cross Bones, Golden Anchor, Xi Breeze and PSKoolAid.
“One of our brothers is a chemistry major, and he’d been working on flavors and stuff like that all week,” Glowacki says. “It’s his second or third year being in charge of that, and I just kind of let him run with that.”
During the event, students danced, laughed and made memories while raising money and supporting a cause in a fun, safe way.
“I love seeing the Greek community come together to support one another because I believe it is the main reason why we are here,” says Champaigne Powell, sophomore fashion merchandising major. “Soberfest shows everyone that we as Greeks do not need to drink to have fun, and raising money for the ALS Foundation makes everyone feel like they are doing something great.”