Natalie Lorenzano, a member of Alpha Phi sorority, won the third annual Miss Greek IU philanthropic pageant Sunday night at the IU Auditorium. In addition to the title, she was awarded a $750 scholarship.
Runners-up included Jessica Endicott, Bianca Lev, Kelsey Foster and Kadre Kappes, respectively.
IU Delta Chi Charities, a segment of the Delta Chi Indiana Chapter, is host to the Miss Greek IU pageant. Nineteen contestants compete for the title.
During the question and answer portion of the pageant, Lorenzano was asked how she would increase philanthropy within the Greek Community.
“I would definitely promote awareness,” she said. “Knowledge is power and if we are aware of what is going on we can give back to philanthropy even more.”
Alpha Phi raised $100,000 during their last Alpha Fiesta philanthropy event for Women’s Heart Health.
During the philanthropy outfit portion of the event, Lorenzano created a “fiesta” atmosphere equipped with bright colors and lots of sparkle, Mekayla Diehl, Miss Indiana USA 2014 and master of ceremonies, said.
“They get to be very creative and show off their philanthropic efforts, as well,” junior Christain Pajusi, Delta Chi executive board member, said.
Lorenzano is currently majoring in biology and intends to go on to dentistry school at IU, Diehlsaid.
“She hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of many,” Diehl said.
The main purpose of the pageant is to raise money for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, according to the program’s website.
“This year the target goal for fundraising is $30,000, and the past two years we have been able to accumulate $30,000,” Pajusi said. “I think it was approximately $12,000 the first year and $18,000 the second year. It’s very exciting. We have been preparing for it the entire year and it’s really cool to see it come together.”
The participants in the pageant raised a total of $41,842. Of that sum of money, $37,107 will go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research and $4,735 will go to the 19 foundations the contestants work with.
Grant Niezgodski, member of Delta Chi and master of ceremonies, said 15 percent of the total donation money each contestant raised went to the contestants’ charity their sorority supports. The remaining money raised went to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
“We are changing lives and finding a cure for cancer,” said senior Erika Burghardt, pageant coach.
The selection process for the contestants happens within each individual sorority.
“In general, we reach out to the different sororities and we ask them if they would like to participate and they as a chapter will choose their participant for our event,” Pajusi said.
The pageant’s aim is to showcase the women in IU’s greek community, according to its website.
The winner is a woman who can be a role model for the community. She is chosen because she has a high sense of morals, a strong will for achievement and a genuine concern for her community.
“It’s not a beauty pageant, it’s a philanthropic pageant. So it’s not based on a swimsuit event or anything like that,” Pajusi said. “The contestants get to showcase their philanthropic causes within Miss Greek IU.”
Follow reporter Allison Wagner on Twitter @allmwagn.
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.
Two U.S. diplomats testified Wednesday as part of the House's public impeachment hearings.
Fighting between protesters and police have paralyzed the city.
IU flipped the commitment of the seventh-ranked wrestler in the country at 195 pounds.