The second annual Pacific Greek Stars concluded Nov. 21 with record breaking fundraising numbers and a powerful message about Greek life.
Junior Phi Lambda Omicron member Ashley McKenzie brought the idea of Pacific Greek Stars to her sorority last year as a way to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It uniquely blended fundraising, fun and a Greek pageant to raise money and strengthen intrapersonal relationships between Greek chapters.
Last year, the event raised just under $3,000.
McKenzie said they don’t know the exact numbers of how much they raised yet but they are very excited to announce they raised more than last year.
Phi Lambda Omicron raised money for Make-A-Wish leading up to the event and charged admission to the pageant.
They donated all of the money to Make-A-Wish.
The pageant was divided into several sections: fitness, talent, self- expression, philanthropy and spirit.
It was open to fraternity and sorority members to compete for section winners and for the titles of overall winners.
Senior Douglas Bender and junior Corri Seideman won the overall title.
McKenzie said the scores were very close this year and that the men’s title came down to a difference of one point.While there were individual winners and the pageant had a competitive edge to it, McKenzie said all of the participants understood it was about something much bigger.
“The real winner was Make-A- Wish and we all knew and were really proud of that,” McKenzie said.
After the success of last year’s program, Phi Lambda Omicron adopted Make-A-Wish as their official philanthropy.
McKenzie said she made several changes to make the event more team- orientated and in line with Greek values. She said that the changes were well- received by the contestants, audience and judges.
President Lesley Hallick, Area Coordinator Lafiette Baker and Senior Director of Alumni Relations and Community Engagement Martha Calus McLain judged the event. Hallick was a returning judge and said she greatly enjoyed being a part of the event.
“I really wanted to have a mix of a returning judge, a new hired staff member and someone who has been crucial to Greek relations,” McKenzie said. “They were perfect and I’m really glad we had them.”
McKenzie said one of her favorite parts of the event was watching the fraternity members commit to the fitness routine she choreographed for them.
McKenzie said Pacific Greek Stars was a reflection of how much Greek life has grown since it had its pledging rescinded at the beginning of fall semester.
In addition to keeping a team- oriented theme, contestants were asked to comment on how not pledging during fall semester helped them grow.
“Greek life is in a way different place than it was a month or year ago,” McKenzie said. “What was super great about this show is that it really brings the Greeks together and encourages intrapersonal connections and friendships.”