If you follow @DPhieMSU on Instagram, your social media feed may have been filled with 15 handsome male student photos leading up to the night of Nov. 3. No, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you. These 15 men were all contenders for Delta Phi Epsilon’s (DPhiE) annual philanthropic pageant Deepher Dude, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon held their annual fundraiser, the Deepher Dude Male Pageant, and successfully raised well over $1,000 for their national philanthropy.
Following the trend of picking a theme in years past, Delta Phi Epsilon chose the theme for this year’s competition, as “The Great Deepher Dude,”a 1920s play on The Great Gatsby.
The event was coordinated by DPhiE’s Vice President of Programming (VPP), Alexa Tillie, a junior who joined the sorority in the Spring of 2014. Tillie had help from fellow committee members as well as from President Amanda San Lucas, who held the position of VPP for two terms within the organization before taking on the role of president. “I hope the event went well and that people enjoyed it. It was a majority of my focus this semester and I had started planning it in May. I was excited when it finally all came together,” said Tillie.
The event began with a speech from a woman living with cystic fibrosis. Tillie believed this was the first time the sorority had a speaker with the disease speak to the audience at their annual pageant. An added touch this year was a heart-wrenching video featuring a young boy living with the disease alongside the song “I Lived” by One Republic.
“When I was talking to the philanthropy chair, we thought something had lacked in years past of the event. We wanted a speaker, someone who could touch the audience in a different way than we could,” said Tillie.
Out of the 15 contestants that participated, all but one was in a Greek organization on campus. Scott Whitford, the winner of this year’s Deepher Dude, proved that one does not need to be in a fraternity in order to participate or win an event run by a Greek organization.
Whitford had the audience catch their second wind about midway through the pageant during the talent portion, where he danced with two other friends to several popular dance songs like “Nasty Freestyle” and “DJ Lil Man Anthem.”
“[Whitford] was like a breath of fresh air during the event. At that point in the night, it started to slow down and the audience seemed to need a break [from sitting in their seats] and he got them involved by dancing to music that was very energetic,” said Tillie.
Tillie asked former Greek Council President and past DPhiE President Lauren Gesualdi, who recently graduated, to host the event. Gesualdi added a light and fresh sense of humor to the event. “I wanted to make sure the host had all of the qualities I wanted [and] wouldn’t be boring. She was the first person that came to mind and I knew she would be great at it because she had leadership roles throughout her entire college career,”said Tillie.
For future pageants, Tillie hopes that the tradition continues. “I hope we continue to grow and raise even more money each year than we did the previous year. Most importantly, I hope people keep wanting to come out and participate and support the event,” said Tillie.
One of the most important parts of the event is actually what the audience takes away educationally from the organization’s philanthropic work and the cause they fundraise for. “[Planning the event is] almost like teaching. When you teach things to people, you understand it a little better. [Planning it] touched me in a different way and I realized how great our philanthropy is. It’s not just frat brothers competing against each other or raffling off baskets, it has a bigger purpose,” said Tillie.