Since 1936, Delta Gamma has been supporting blind people through their philanthropic events and fundraising for the organization Service for Sight. Philanthropy is not uncommon in fraternity and sorority life. Junior Abby Winkelbauer, Vice President of Foundations for Drake’s Alpha Lambda Chapter of the nationwide sorority, said that Service for Sight advocates for the blind and visually impaired.
“Service for Sight advocates for sight conversation and the visually impaired community,” Winkelbauer said. “Delta Gamma has five schools that it helped start and continues to fund all across the country. These schools work with visually impaired children to provide them with a good education.”
Winkelbauer also said that one of the biggest pulls to Delta Gamma for her was how active the Alpha Lambda chapter is with philanthropy.
“When I was going through recruitment, DG was heavily invested in their philanthropy,” Winkelbauer said. “I listened to members educate me about their philanthropy and their stories of personal experiences with it. This is what immediately drew me to DG and now to be the Vice President of Foundations.”
One of the main fundraisers for Service for Sight is the annual Anchor Splash event, where all of Fraternity and Sorority life comes together to compete in a synchronized swimming competition. This year’s event was held on Friday, Nov. 13, and sophomore Ollie Kress, who led the charge in planning and running it, said that the event is one of the biggest of the year.
“DG holds Anchor Splash close to our hearts because it allows us to foster relationships with other chapters in the Drake FSL community,” Kress said.
Delta Gamma Anchorman Kyle Tekautz agreed with Kress, and said that the event is good for the FSL community as a whole and not just the one sorority.
“Often times, Anchor Splash participants will really get into their routine, and members of their respective chapters will come and cheer them on,” Tekautz said. “It’s a great event for the FSL community, as it brings people together and allows some friendly competition to be had.”
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic linger, however, Kress said that multiple hurdles were jumped to pull off the event this year.
“I’m a sophomore, so I had never experienced a normal Anchor Splash as last year’s event was held on Zoom,” Kress said. “Typically, Anchor Splash is held at a pool, but due to COVID, many pools in the area were not renting out their facilities. So, I made the decision to have the teams film the routines and to hold a viewing party in Parents Hall.”
Sophomore Emma Garfoot, who helped coach Sigma Phi Epsilon to become Anchor Splash champions for the third time in a row despite these changes, said that her team was really dedicated.
“The fraternity men were enthused and dedicated, and they made the whole process an absolute blast,” Garfoot said,
In the end, no matter who took home the crown in the competition, Tekautz said the ultimate winners were those aided by Service for Sight.
“To me, Service for Sight is vital for Delta Gamma’s mission to do good and to serve those in our community,” Tekautz said.