The fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta raised $16,000 on Saturday, April 25 for the United Service Organizations.
The U.S.O is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to the United States troops and their families.
The night started out with a fraternity ritual called Pig Dinner. At this event, alumni and undergraduates ate food catered by Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse that culminated with a speech from TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte.
Immediately following the dinner, the men of Phi Gamma Delta met their dates at Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth for a casino night.
The casino night consisted of Black Jack, poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, Craps and an Elvis impersonator that performed throughout the night. The evening concluded with a raffle.
Phi Gamma Delta President Graham Johnson said the fraternity raised the money through a combination of sponsorships, alumni donations, a golf tournament with alumni that morning, purchases of Casino Night tickets and “rebuys” at the event itself when people ran out of chips and wanted more.
“By coupling a serious brotherhood event with an extravagant-themed after party allowed people to feel welcome and understand that the money raised was going to a good cause with total transparency,” said Chris Curran, philanthropy chair .
Phi Gamma Delta members said they partnered with U.S.O in 2011 to help consolidate the chapter’s philanthropy efforts into one good cause.
Curran said it was a natural fit after Phi Gamma Delta met with the U.S.O and realized how the U.S.O’s integrity aligned with the values of the fraternity.
“U.S.O is important to us because we fully appreciate the sacrifices our armed forces make for us,” said Phi Gamma Delta active member Austin Wallis. “There are many members in our fraternity with parents in the military, so it is especially meaningful to see the benefits this organization provides to thousands of families.”
This was the largest amount raised at Pig Dinner/Casino Night since the start of TCU Phi Gamma Delta in 1978. Over the last two years the fraternity has donated more than $30,000 to the U.S.O.