October 20, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: Creating Tradition with Red Dress Gala


Excitement surrounds the Kappa Alpha chapter as we prepare for our very first Red Dress Gala. On November 4, members will gather with parents, friends and alumnae for a night of celebration to raise awareness and funds for women’s heart health.

Chapters across the nation hold Red Dress Galas in hopes of educating the public on women’s heart health and raising funds for Alpha Phi Foundation. Our chapter is only two years old, and we are thrilled to already be hosting a Gala to establish our own traditions for our beloved fraternity. This event is unique to the UNC Chapel Hill Greek life community, and it is a great source of pride for our chapter.

Our gala planning began last February, and since then our chapter has worked diligently to ensure a magical evening for all attendees. Event Director Jenny Baker, has collaborated with our wonderful alumnae, advisors and consultants, receiving both their guidance and inspiration. The night will begin with a cocktail hour where members can meet each other’s families and alumni from all around. Then guests will be guided to walk along a hallway where baskets and other auction items will be displayed.

All members created baskets with their families within the chapter. The baskets all have special themes and are the event’s main way of raising funds for the night. My family’s theme was jewelry, and we received donations from Kendra Scott and other designers. We are excited to see the total funds our first gala will garner for our beloved philanthropy. The night will continue after the silent auction with live music, a three course meal and a speaker, Juliann Gardner. Juliann is a heart attack survivor and works closely with the American Heart Association. Juliann was invited to speak at the event after we heard her moving speech at a similar heart health event. We are excited for our chapter and guests to hear her speak about her life-altering experience and the importance of heart health.

The details of the night seem to be in perfect order, but Events Director Jenny Baker says it hasn’t all been easy. The biggest challenge she has had to face was getting people motivated and on board for the chapter’s first Red Dress Gala. “I’ve had to explain in great detail how this will have such a great impact on our philanthropy and that each member’s efforts are critical to the success of the evening,” Baker said. It might have taken a bit of motivating, but with the whole chapter on board, we hope the night will run seamlessly and our goals will be met.

One of the most exciting things members are looking forward to is their families getting the chance at seeing what a sorority really is all about: sisters rallying around a great cause and supporting one another in our efforts to benefit our fraternity as a whole. I know I am itching to see the night come together. I can’t wait to kick off what I know will be one of my favorite traditions here at Carolina.

If you or someone you know are interested in attending please contact jenbaker@live.unc.edu

Mikayla Tencer is a collegiate member at the Kappa Alpha chapter at UNC Chapel Hill. To learn more about Mikayla, click here.

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