Chi Omega raised over $55,000 during its 66th annual Songfest philanthropy event on Friday, Nov. 17 in the Reed Green Coliseum.
The event featured musical performances, competitions and a silent auction. The competitions consisted of various sorority and fraternity members performing in front of a group of judges.
Delta Gamma was the overall winner of the competition, Kappa Delta Beta Sigma was the 1st place sorority and Pi Kappa Phi was the 1st place fraternity.
Senior Microbiology major Henry Bruebaker, a member of Pi Kappa Phi, said that he always looks forward to Songfest.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday, so naturally Songfest is one of my favorite philanthropy events,” Bruebaker said. “The women of Chi Omega always do a phenomenal job in executing their event and continue to raise the bar with their philanthropic donations to help children’s wishes become a reality.”
Proceeds from the event will go to the Mississippi chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a popular non-profit that serves children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“With the money raised this year, we will be able to provide five wishes to children with life threatening illnesses,” Songfest chair Anna Katherine Peel, a senior elementary education major, said. “It is an honor to support an organization that supports children and their families in the darkest of times.”
Peel said that this year’s event was particularly special because it occurred on an important anniversary.
“Exactly 16 years ago today, Chi Omega created an alliance with the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” Peel said. “Together we have raised over 19 million dollars and dedicated over one million hours of service to the philanthropy.”
Senior English major Caroline Bradley, who serves Chi Omega as the director of career and personal development, has been participating in the event since she was a freshman. To her, Songfest has a special significance.
“As a freshman, I was not very familiar with what exactly Make-A-Wish did or how Chi O was involved with it,” Bradley said. “Songfest was the first moment [when] I realized how special the connection was because we had a Mississippi Wish Kid that was a judge and that family shared their story with the audience. They talked about the impact Make- A-Wish and Chi O had in their lives.”
“Ever since that year, I have always gotten excited for Songfest because the community gets to see what we do with Make-A-Wish and the families Chi O comes in contact with,” Bradley said.
Bradley said that this year was especially amazing thanks to the record-setting amount of money they raised. However, her favorite part of her fourth and final SongFest was something she refers to as “the Wish Wall.”
“We let people see how cool it was to ask for a wish,” Bradley said. “They had the options, just like Wish Kids do, of to go, to be, to have, to give or to meet. We set up markers and people from Greek Life, the Southern Miss Community and outside communities came together and wrote their wishes on the wall.”
“It was pretty powerful to see that kind of outpouring of hope and excitement written out for everyone to see,” Bradley said.