I wear red because I am an Alpha Phi woman, who wears red in support of the Alpha Phi Foundation that supports women’s heart health among various other causes.
According to the Alpha Phi Foundation, “in 1965, Alpha Phi was one of the first women’s fraternities to establish a Foundation.
Demonstrating the philanthropic spirit of love and charity intended by our Founders, the Foundation was created as a trust to award grants specifically for scholarship and cardiac aid. Today, the original priorities of Alpha Phi Foundation remain.”
Every year, Alpha Phi chapters across the United States and Canada hold Red Dress Gala’s in order to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.
Last year, I was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma and it was my first year as an Alpha Phi at the Phi chapter. I had the honor of joining Alpha Phi and then being a part of the committee that helped plan Alpha Phi, Phi chapter’s Red Dress Gala.
My Alpha Phi sister’s and I spent months planning this event in order to make it a special day for our members and their families, as well as making preparations for our chapter to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.
Our Red Dress Gala included a dinner for our members, their families and alumnae. The freshman members were also introduced at this time. Then we had a silent auction and a live auction in order to raise money for the Alpha Phi Foundation.
Why does the Alpha Phi Foundation support women’s cardiac care?
According to the Alpha Phi Foundation, “at that time (World War II), rheumatic fever – a disease that causes serious, debilitating damage to the heart – was a leading killer of school age children in the United States. Alpha Phi wanted to help these children, but also wanted freedom to contribute money and service to other programs. Cardiac aid fit the bill – chapters and members were able to donate funds and service to various educational and research projects.
During the next few decades, modern antibiotic therapy sharply reduced mortality and causes of rheumatic fever became rare. Heart disease became the #1 killer of women in North America, and Alpha Phi Foundation thought it fitting that an organization of women help fight it.”
Before I came to college and became an Alpha Phi, I had no idea that heart disease was the No. 1 killer of women in North America. Now I am aware of that statistic, and I am happy that I can help spread awareness and raise money for something that is so near and dear to my heart.