Fraternities strip to aid blindness

anchorman1:John Jackson, a member of the Pike fraternity, struts his stuff in the Anchorman pageant on Friday. :Ashley Neal - State Hornet

Ashley Neal

anchorman1:John Jackson, a member of the Pike fraternity, struts his stuff in the Anchorman pageant on Friday. :Ashley Neal – State Hornet

Leia Ostermann

The Delta Gamma sorority’s annual fundraiser drew more than 200 people, raising an estimated $3,000 to support the blind through a man pageant and a synchronized-swimming dance show.

Anchor Splash is the sorority event of the year, said sophomore social work major Kristin Pries, one of the Delta Gamma coaches. Since August, Delta Gamma has been working to plan events, enlist fraternities and also volunteer for the Sacramento Society for the Blind.

“We are hoping to raise money to support national blind societies and local ones as well. The Sacramento Society for the Blind is where we volunteer our time as personal assistants for the blind. We even read Cosmopolitan aloud to them when they want it,” said junior economics major Lauren Greenwood, director of Anchor Splash.

Delta Gamma raised these funds through the selling tickets to Friday’s Anchor Man Pageant. This was the ticketed event of Anchor Splash, where the sorority raised money to support the blind, Brown said.

The students watching screamed and yelled in excitement.

Delta Gamma is the only sorority on campus that hosts a three-day philanthropic event, said Ellen Mason, one of the sorority coaches.

“Delta Gamma has helped so many people in the United States. We have even started blind schools through our Service for Sight grants and foundations. At Sac State we have been supporting blind societies since the 1980s,” said senior marketing a design major Courtney Brown. “All a part of the Delta Gamma motto to do good.”

Anchor Splash is about having fun and the bonding of fraternities, sororities and philanthropy, said Greenwood, assistant news editor for The State Hornet.

Thursday kicked off with the treasure hunt. Fraternities searched the campus for Delta Gamma women and their prize paper anchors, earning points in the process. At the end of the weekend, all the points were tallied up to announce the winning sorority. The competition is fun but also a serious rivalry for fraternities, Brown said.

“Some of the girls don’t give out their anchors so easily,” Greenwood said. “Many of the girls ask the boys to shout “I love Delta Gamma’ in the middle of the Quad or to serenade them before they give away their anchors. The girls get really creative.”

The events are structured to be embarrassing and entertaining, the highlight being the use of Speedos on the men, said Michelle Camello, a Delta Gamma coach. The traditional Anchor Man Pageant on Friday night included a swimsuit competition, lip-sync and dancing performances.

“This is where we pick our sweetheart for the year,” Brown said.

Sophomore Curtis Morte, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s anchor man contestant, wore a Speedo bedazzled with a pink anchor to show his support for Delta Gamma’s nautical theme.

“All of the pageant contestants really enjoy the swimsuit competition, which makes for a colorful lineup of Speedos, wet suits and even bright gold swim trunks,” Greenwood said.

Morte said he was chosen by his fraternity to compete in the Anchor Man pageant because of his abs. Most of all, Morte said he loved the lip-sync and dance event in the pageant. His chosen song was an N’Sync classic, “It’s Gonna Be You,” complete with back-up dancers.

“I wanted to look like N’Sync so I watched the music video over and over and took down notes. But it’s a lot harder than it looks,” Morte said.

Sigma Phi Epsilon placed third in the pageant, beaten by the charismatic performance of Pike. The fraternities practiced relentlessly to perfect their dances and their attire for the pageant, Greenwood said.

“One guy even oiled himself and drew on fake abs. It was hilarious,” Greenwood said. “Some of the guys strip down to their underwear and do crazy dance moves like the worm.”

As the opening event, the pageant also reminded the audience what this whole event is about.

“We had a blind man come from the Sacramento Society for the Blind come to the event to share his story. It is super inspirational and it reminds people what they are supporting,” Brown said.

Although the event is hosted by Delta Gamma and the participating fraternities, it is the non-Greek community that buys tickets and supports the sorority’s charity.

“We definitely try and make the effort to reach out to the community, nationally and locally,” Greenwood said.

The final Anchor Splash events on Sunday were all water competitions. Being an experienced swimmer is not the point of this competition, Greenwood said. The events included a turtle race where one of the fraternity members sat in a tube and paddled across the pool, and the save-the-mermaid competition where a Delta Gamma woman rode a tube pushed across the pool by two fraternity members. The wet sweater event received the most cheers from the crowd; the big, wet sweater was traded among swimmers in a relay.

This was just the beginning for the DJ, fraternities and cheering crowd as the event culminated in the dance and synchronized-swimming competition.

“You have to love seeing all these boys dancing in Speedos,” Camello said.

The fraternities choreographed a two-minute dance routine to their choice of music, completing the effect with costumes and accessories. The crowd of students watching could not stop laughing and clapping during the performances. Each team ended the routine with one to two minutes of synchronized swimming in the pool, making the signs for Delta Gamma as well as their fraternity.

“It’s just so funny to watch,” Greenwood said.

Pries’ team practiced for three weeks at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to perfect their routines. They were one of the first to start their practices, Pries said.

“We are so bossy but in the end we are making good friends. And these guys are great. They are really genuine and will be our friends even after this event. We just need more excuses to hang out with them,” he said.

Delta Gamma was full of sorority pride and passion for their philanthropy, communicated by Greenwood as she passed out the final trophy to Pike and again expressed thanks to everyone involved in Anchor Splash.

“It’s an event for family and friends to come out and become aware of blindness in our community. But most of all it’s just fun and hilarious,” Brown said.

Leia Ostermann can be reached at [email protected]