Over 600 students and members of the community crowded into the Payne Center March 26 to watch the cheer competition of Delta Delta Delta’s philanthropy event, Triple Play, which supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Tri Delta’s annual event features a cheerleading competition, softball games and a money drop throughout the week to raise money to support the hospital. The cheerleading competition took place Wednesday and had representation from all sororities, some fraternities and from alumni, friends and family. The cheer routines, choreographed and performed by members of campus Greek organizations, featured specially scripted chants promoting Tri Delta’s charitable contributions, as well as tumbling, dances and stunting.
Phi Mu won first place in the sorority division with a routine that showcased the girls’ tumbling and stunting skills. They were followed by Chi Omega in second place and Pi Beta Phi placing third. In the fraternity division, Phi Kappa Tau placed first with a dance-heavy routine which kept the crowd laughing. Delta Tau Delta placed second, then Kappa Sigma in third.
Destin Guillot, a member of The University of Southern Mississippi’s cheer squad, participated in Triple Play with his fraternity, Delta Tau Delta.
“We had a blast,” Guillot said, a senior forensic science major. “We got second and tried to do everything to perfection. We wanted people to know that we’re not just dumb fraternity guys, that we really care about helping out.”
While competitors and supporters at the cheer competition loved watching their peers face off for the title, another performance stole the show. Tri Delta invited a community cheer team, the Southern Stars of ACE Cheer Company, to perform during ballot tabulation. The group is a limited travel team for children with special needs.
“The competition was very entertaining, but ACE’s competitive squad stole the show with their heartwarming, energetic performance,” said Ginny Pampuro, Tri Delta’s president and a junior audiology major.
Due to the possibility of bad weather last weekend, the softball competition scheduled for Saturday, March 29 had to be canceled. “We were very sad when (Recreational) Sports canceled the softball tournament this weekend, but weather was simply not in our favor,” Pampuro said.
Despite the cancellation of one of the competitions, Tri Delta still had a successful philanthropy event. As of March 26, Pampuro said the Phi Epsilon chapter of Tri Delta has raised $67,000 during the 2013-2014 school year. “We do three annual fundraisers that all go (toward) that grand total,” Pampuro said. “Our chapter goal for the year is $72,000, so we’re getting close.”
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital costs about $1.9 million per day to operate, according to the hospital’s website. The hospital does not charge the families of children who are treated at St. Jude, and money comes mainly from individual donations, so Phi Epsilon’s donation of $67,000 is helpful for the continued running of the facility.
Guillot summed up the spirit of the philanthropy event. “For me, it was worth the time and effort spent because we got to see people come together to support a cause,” Guillot said. The children of St. Jude undoubtedly agree.