On February 20, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Rutgers University held their 5th Annual Dream Girl competition.
The competition, which crowns one winner from a participating sorority as Dream Girl, raises money to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the fraternity’s local philanthropy.
After a week of competitions to raise awareness, including cooler painting and pizza eating, the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha and the sisters of Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Mu, Sigma Delta Tau, and Zeta Tau Alpha assembled in the Rutgers University’s College Avenue Student Center to compete for the title of Dream Girl.
Alexis Tosti, a member of Delta Gamma, attended the competition this year for the second time.
“I did not know much about MS before Dream Girl,” Alexis said. “The only thing that I really did know was that it affects all people differently.”
It’s a response that many of us connected to multiple sclerosis hear again and again; so many people have little to no knowledge about MS.
“Before joining Pi Kappa Alpha, I did not know much about MS,” Nick Lisanti said. “I had heard of the disease but did not understand the severity or impact it has on so many people worldwide.”
Nick is Pi Kappa Alpha’s Philanthropy Chairman and responsible for creating, planning, and organizing philanthropy events like Dream Girl. He ran for his position because he wanted to help make a difference after learning about MS during his first year in the chapter.
“Not having a national philanthropy as a fraternity, we were able to direct all of our charity efforts toward supporting MS, after an alumni’s mother was diagnosed,” he said.
While raising MS awareness can be an uphill battle – especially on a college campus – Nick understands how important it is to leverage the fraternity’s presence.
“Events like Dream Girl can really benefit MS awareness by getting the word out to students campus-wide about our fraternity’s philanthropy and raising a substantial donation to help support the National MS Society,” said Nick.
This year, Pi Kappa Alpha’s event raised more than $16,500 for the Society.
Nick believes that centering the event on raising MS awareness is the first step to success.
“Large events like PIKE Dream Girl do open student’s eyes to MS awareness,” said Nick. “During our week of competition in PIKE Dream Girl, we incorporate MS awareness education by holding informational presentations, as well as bringing in guest speakers to tell stories of their experiences with MS.”
Step two? Create a fun, competitive atmosphere to inspire students.
“Being a part of such a large effort supporting a cause can inspire a lot of motivation to donate to charities,” Nick said. “Centering the focus of our event toward MS awareness, and orienting donating in a competition motivates students to help raise money and contribute time to helping support MS.”
While Dream Girl is Pi Kappa Alpha’s largest competition of the year, the fraternity has plans to partner with other Greek organizations on campus to hold smaller fundraisers that benefit the Society in the future.
To check out last year’s Dream Girl contest, visit: https://vimeo.com/111571620.
To visit their online donation page, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/pikedreamgirl.