The university’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi sorority held its 10th annual Mardi Gras Mocktail Blend-Off on Wednesday in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium.
The blend-off was originally designed to raise alcohol awareness and eventually became the main philanthropy event for Alpha Delta Pi. In the blend-off, teams from different campus organizations blend non-alcoholic beverages in a competition for the grand prize, which is donated by area businesses or organizations.
This year’s grand prize winner, the team from Pi Kappa Phi, won eight tickets and parking passes to a Dallas Cowboys football game that were donated by the team, said sorority alumna Paula Mabry.
Mabry said she created the event in 2000 because she was inspired to create an event that would encourage drinking responsibly after her brother was injured in an automobile collision involving a drunken driver.
“We’re trying to create an atmosphere where if a student sees another student who’s had too much to drink, they’ll drive them home, or they’ll call them a cab or they’ll take their keys without controversy,” Mabry said. “That’s our goal in this whole thing, and if it saves one life it was all worth it.”
Hannah Crooke, a junior biology major and Alpha Delta Pi president, said the event was not originally the chapter’s philanthropy event. The chapter needed an event to raise money for the sorority’s official philanthropy, Ronald McDonald House Charities, in the same year that the blend-off was created, she said.
Ronald McDonald House Charities, which is an organization that provides free housing for the families of children with chronic illnesses, has been the official philanthropy of the sorority since 1979, Crooke said.
“Ronald McDonald House was part of the reason that I joined Alpha Delta Pi,” said Crooke, who works in the emergency room at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. “I see the devastation of families when they come in and we have to tell them that their child has leukemia or an aggressive brain tumor.”
Katie Blakely, a sophomore secondary education major, said 17 teams competed this year from various campus organizations including many of the campus fraternities and sororities and some non-Greek organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The funds donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities come from major charitable contributors, participation fees ($75 per team) and t-shirt sales, Blakely said. All proceeds from the $12 T-shirts will be donated to the charity. The major donor this year was John Peter Smith Hospital, which donated about $5,000 prior to the event, she said.
Crooke said the chapter donated almost $5,500 last year to Ronald McDonald House after the blend-off. The chapter set a goal to raise $75,000 from the blend-off by 2012 and has raised about $50,000 since the inaugural blend-off in 2000, she said.