On Saturday, Sept. 24, The University of Southern Mississippi’s Alpha Omicron Chapter of Phi Mu hosted their annual philanthropy event, BonnaMU. The event receives its name from the popular arts and music festival Bonnaroo that occurs every summer in Tennessee. Southern MIss follows its example with an arts and music fest of its own with Greek Life members as its participants.
Phi Mu’s national philanthropy s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Proceeds from the event went to the Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi which is the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in Mississippi. Last year, USM’s Phi Mu raised over $28,000 for the hospital. According to the sorority, the money they raise for Blair E. Batson goes straight to patient care, new medical equipment in addition to research of children’s illnesses, diseases and injuries. Phi Mu’s creed is to “To lend to those less fortunate a helping hand,” and they seek to accomplish this through their continued support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
BonnaMU’s festivities occurred in Spirit Park, on the lawn between the Thad Cochran building and the Century Park dorms. Besides the main dance-off competition, the festival also had tents with other activities dedicated to raising money for Batson Children’s Hospital. Local vendors also took part in the fundraiser by setting up booths and donating their proceeds. There were tents selling food, snow cones and even a “Pie a Phi Mu” tent where participants could pay to throw a pie at a Phi Mu member.
The afternoon kicked off with live musical performances from students and was followed by a Greek dance-off. Each sorority was paired with a fraternity in order to choreograph and perform a dance routine in the competition. Seymour even hopped on stage to show off his moves in a couple of the routines. The competition was judged by several dance professionals and Phi Mu alumnae. In the past, former patients of Batson Children’s Hospital.
Sophomore kinesiology major Lexy Runnels said her favorite part of the event was “the unity felt by the sororities represented” in the competition. Runnels danced with her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, in the dance-off for the second time and said she loves the event.
“I love that this event brings the campus together for such a great cause, ” sophomore nursing major and Phi Mu member Celsey Harpster said.
This year’s judges named Chi Omega and Sigma Nu the winners of the competition. Another successful BonnaMU brought USM’s campus together to raise money for an incredible cause— Mississippi’s sick children.