Reading is Phi-ne with Laughing for Literacy
CAITLAN BERTRAM | CONTRIBUTOR & JAMIE EDDY | FEATURE EDITOR | THE USD VISTA
On Dec. 3, 2015, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women presented their first philanthropy event, Laughing for Literacy.
The California Xi Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was recently founded on the University of San Diego campus in February of 2015. The Fraternity for Women was chartered at the national Pi Beta Phi Convention in July of 2015 and soon found success on USD’s campus.
Pi Beta Phi’s national philanthropy is Read>Lead>Achieve. The chapter’s statement of beliefs looks to empower individuals and create a motivation for success.
“We believe in inspiring readers, sparking imaginations, and igniting the desire to learn. We believe that readers become leaders. And, we believe reading is the foundation of all that we can achieve in life,” Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy document states.
Across the country, the women of Pi Beta Phi are committed to donating a million dollars to literacy, providing one million books to children in need, and impacting one million lives by teaching children to read through school programs. Reading, education, and competancy is crucial to the development of all children and will ultimately play a postive role in their futures.
Senior Darci Wilkerson, Pi Beta Phi’s Vice President of Philanthropy, held the chapter’s first Laughing for Literacy event in Saloman Hall on Dec. 3. The proceeds from the event raised a total of $540 for their philanthropy.
Wilkerson explains the importance for philanthropic service and why the chapter chose to host this event.
“We decided to do Laughing for Literacy because the concept is unlike anything else that other student organizations do on campus for philanthropy events, and we wanted it to be fun for both the participants and the attendees,” Wilkerson said.
There were seven acts ranging from stand-up comedy, skits, and musical performances. The stand-up comedy acts included stories of awkward college situations, group projects, and paying for tuition.
The ladies of Alpha Delta Pi sorority performed a skit about the problems of USD. Another performer, sophomore Alex Weis, sang the song “In Short” from the Broadway musical “Edges.”
Junior Crash Ketcham was named the first Pi Beta Phi Class Clown with his stand up performance on the characteristics of his name and his perception of diversity on the USD campus. For Ketcham as well as several other performers, it was their first time participating in stand-up comedy.
“I’ve never done stand up before and I’m all about broadening my artistic expressions and experiences so it was perfect,” Ketcham said.
Although Ketcham is primarily known for his stellar dance moves, he discovered a new talent, stand-up. He was surprised to learn that he was a crowd favorite.
“There were moments where I made the crowd laugh so much I was taken [by surprise] by how loud they were!” Ketcham said. “It was an awesome feeling and now that I’ve done it once, I definitely am inspired to do it again.”
Sophomore Katie Kovach-Galton, was one of many students in the crowd laughing at the jokes and performances throughout the night. She was inspired by the confidence that each performer showcased on the stage and their ability to give it all they had.
“The people who went up [to the stage] were not afraid to be themselves and they were really funny,” Kovach-Galton said. “I don’t know who my favorite [performer] was because I liked all of them in their own way.”
After the first successful Pi Beta Phi philanthropy event, the chapter hopes to continue “Laughing for Literacy” in the future and to host more philanthropic events for Read>Lead>Achieve.
The event was a phine evening filled with talented acts, support for a great cause, and lots of laughter.