Delta Phi Epsilon’s president Madison Zumwalt said the sorority worked to offer fun activities for the community of Webster Groves while also raising money for a cause.
On Oct. 30, Delta Phi Epsilon hosted its annual Fall Fest on the University Center Quad from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event featured carnival games and a raffle, both of which attendees could buy tickets to participate in.
The proceeds went toward the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), one of the sorority’s philanthropies. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that damages the lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines, among other organs.
The sorority’s President, Madison Zumwalt, said a key goal in hosting the event was to raise as much money as they can for CFF while bringing family-friendly, carnival-inspired activities to the people of Webster Groves.
“[We wanted to] create something fun for families, friends and people in the community,” Zumwalt said.
There was a rubber duck pond, balloon darts, bean-bag toss and dinosaur races, as well as Halloween-themed games like a pumpkin ring toss. After playing games and winning tickets, attendees could spend their earnings at the prize table on Halloween trinkets and candy.
Vice President of programming Olivia Lopez spent over two months preparing and planning this year’s Fall Fest. For her, bringing back the in-person component was important.
“We have always had a Fall Festival, [but] obviously, because of COVID, it has been halted,” Lopez said. “But … since campus is now back open, we can actually be in-person again, so I wanted to continue the tradition we always had.”
Zumwalt said this was the sorority’s first in-person Fall Fest since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
“Our last in-person [Fall Fest] was two years ago, so we’re excited to be out,” Zumwalt said.
The event being open to the public was also a key stepping stone in the sorority’s efforts toward community outreach. Lopez said the event being hosted on campus gave them more opportunity to connect with the Webster Groves community.
“We wanted to have it on the home campus so that we could invite all of the community: not just the school, but everyone in Webster Groves,” Lopez said.
When it came to structuring the event, Lopez took inspiration from going to carnivals throughout her life.
“I wanted to adapt [the games] so they’re a little more DIY-friendly. We don’t have the budget for the big, elaborate [games], so we made all of them,” Lopez said.
Webster freshman Gavin Dudenhoeffer attended the event to support a friend in the sorority. He said the games and prizes were the main attraction of the event, but for Dudenhoeffer, giving money to the cause was essential.
“It’s good to know my money is going somewhere, not just in a pocket,” Dudenhoeffer said.
Delta Phi Epsilon raised $744 for the CFF, where it will be dispersed to the organization’s various chapters.
Lopez said putting on the event for philanthropy was a great way to get people from the community involved and supporting a good cause.
“It feels great to actually see everything come together and people having fun and being here,” Lopez said.
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Kate McCracken (she/her) is currently a staff writer for The Journal. She has previously worked as the lifestyle editor. She is a double major in Philosophy and History, minoring in Professional Writing. She has always loved to write and create stories, and she wrote her first book at age 10. Aside from writing, Kate also enjoys photography, environmental/animal activism, paranormal investigation and oneirology, the study of dreams.