By Erica Tropp
The Sigma Delta Tau sorority held their annual philanthropy event, SDT Your Way Through College Park, on Saturday, and the event was more popular than ever before among Maryland students, according to SDT Vice President of Philanthropy, junior Alli Weiss.
A long line waited in front of the chapter house throughout the evening with over 430 attendees, according to Weiss.
The event consisted of an all-you-can-eat buffet of food choices from many of the food establishments in the College Park area, a raffle and a photo booth for an entrance fee of $10 at the door or $8 presale.
All of the proceeds made from the event support Prevent Child Abuse America, a national organization that works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. “PCAA is an organization that I feel especially passionate about because I’ve spent a lot of time volunteering with children,” said Weiss. “Child abuse is 100 percent preventable, yet it happens every day and I believe that any contribution our chapter can make to this great organization truly can make a difference.”
“It was crazy,” said Phi Sigma Sigma sister, junior Laura Gonson. “We’ve never gotten a turnout like that at any of our events. Unlimited good food really does the trick.”
Buffalo Wild Wings, Krazi Kebob, Hanami, Noodles & Co., Aroy Thai, Bagel Place, Pizza Kingdom, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and RJ Bentleys are only some of the food establishments that donated food and prizes for the buffet and raffle, said SDT sister, sophomore Jillian Mergruen.
Kosher food was donated by Hillel, Chabad and [the Maryland Jewish Experience], said Weiss.
After waiting on line outside, guests came into the chapter house and makeshift buffet, set up along the walls of the living room. The buffet was organized in order of daily meals, so Bagel Place and other breakfast items were closest to the door, followed by lunch and dinner items, and finished with dessert.
The buffet was not exactly the same throughout the evening; SDT received too much food to put out all at once, so once one platter or restaurant was finished, its spot was replaced by a different choice.
Tables for visitors to eat were set up in the dining room in the basement and the study room on the main floor. The walls of the house were elaborately decorated with colorful paper decorations, balloons and posters that bore facts and statistics about the dangers of child abuse.
The raffle, set up by the door so visitors could enter as they left, included gift cards to Yogi Castle, Slices, Muse Café DC, Sweetgreen and Dormify, Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, jewelry and more.
There were seven planning committees for the event, said Weiss. “We have a committee for donations, we have a committee for sponsorship, we have a committee that picks up all the food that day, we have a moving out committee where people move all the furniture out of the house and put it in a U-Haul, and more,” said Mergruen.
“I was on the donations committee, so we called every single restaurant and followed up with them a million times, gave them contracts and everything to make sure they’re donating and hold them accountable for what they’re donating,” said Mergruen.
“We got sponsors from, not only companies, but other fraternities and sororities at Maryland,” said Mergruen.
Fraternities and sororities that sponsored received a few complementary tickets to the event and raffle tickers to give to their members.
Before the event began Sigma Delta Tau raised over $3500 in online fundraising, and with so many attendees, their event has been a sure success, said Weiss. She is extremely proud of her chapter and all they have accomplished.