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On Saturday, Nov. 16th, Alpha Phi Sorority hosted their Red Dress Gala, with the proceeds reaching a total of $13,112 to benefit women’s heart health research.

 Attendees included all members of the Alpha Phi chapter at Indiana State, alumna of the sorority and ISU faculty and staff. Guests were encouraged to wear the color red to symbolize heart health.

Dean and Associate professor Linda Maule spoke about women’s heart health at the event.

“I’m extraordinarily proud of the key role the women of the Alpha Phi sorority played in the implantation of tonight’s fundraiser,” said Maule. “I wear red tonight, you all wear red tonight to honor the women, doctors and researchers whose strength and determination led to gender-based research of heart disease.” 

Maule continued to list the reasons why she wore red, “To celebrate the women of Alpha Phi, who through their power, passion and leadership will leave a positive and full heart of the communities they touch. To recognize the courage of individuals, including my husband, living with and battling heart disease. Finally, I wear red tonight to symbolize the remarkable power of the heart, both literally and metaphorically.” 

Guests were able to purchase beads to play Heads and Tails, bid on baskets for a silent auction, participate in a wine pull and participate in other activities to help raise more money. 

Heads and Tails was played by certain attendees wearing red necklaces purchased at the event. While the speaker was flipping a coin, the players would have to put their hands either on their head or tail in an effort to guess which side the coin was going to land on. The winner received a basket full of holiday items.

“Alpha Phi sorority has been on ISU’s campus since 1964. This night is very important for us and is the main philanthropy event for all Alpha Phi chapters across the nation,”said Megan Wyse, VP of community relations for Alpha Phi. “We are proud to have many alums, Fraternity and Sorority Life faculty and ISU faculty and staff including deans and professors in attendance. We hope that this event can continue to have success in the future.”

The video shown afterwards had members of Alpha Phi speak about how heart health has affected them and their families. 

“When I was in about fourth or fifth grade, my grandma, unfortunately passed away from a heart attack.,” said Brigitte Faris, member of Alpha Phi. “For me, our philanthropy was the main reason why I joined this sorority. It’s incredible to know that all the women learn CPR, to know the signs and indications of an incoming heart attack and to know that so many women in this chapter are passionate about our philanthropy and how they all can relate to it. It makes you sit down and realize that you’re welcome here and that people care about you.” 

Madelynne Ashbaugh, Red Dress Chairwoman for Alpha Phi, is very passionate about women’s heart health as well.

“I was actually asked to take my position while I was studying abroad. Red Dress Gala is a huge event and it takes someone who is passionate about this chapter and philanthropy to fill the position,” said Ashbaugh. “I agreed to take the position because I love Alpha Phi and I had been feeling homesick for ISU and had been missing my sisters. Taking this position allowed to me to still feel like an important part of the chapter and even though I was gone for so long I still was doing everything I could to help and make a difference in my chapter.”

Ashbaugh explained more of her passion about women’s heart health, stating that, “I strongly support the research of women’s cardiac care and aid for many reasons. There is information about women’s heart health that is still unknown to so many people in this country. First off, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Every one in three women will lose their lives to heart disease in this year alone. That is nearly one woman every single minute. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  I support researching women’s heart health so that all the women who have been misinformed or undereducated about this information can learn and take care of themselves.”

Ashbaugh also explained why she wears red, “I wear red for the women who will lose their lives to heart disease, the women who are battling heart disease and the women who will sometime during their live. Alpha Phi wears red for the women who can’t,” said Ashbaugh.