Gamma Phi Sigma Fraternity hosted its annual stroll show this past weekend to support brothers in need.
The 2009 Annual Stroll Competition was an opportunity for a lot of firsts. For the first time, all proceeds went to the American Cancer Society in honor of a member of Gamma Phi Sigma Fraternity, Inc., who is currently fighting a rare type of cancer.
“[Gamma Phi Sigma] is one of the youngest organizations, founded in 1992,” Eric Cortes, Temple alumnus and member of Gamma Phi Sigma, said. “One of our key principles is brotherhood … because after all, this is what this show is about, raising funds for our brother.”
Also new to the show was an opening act by Kensington High School who performed a drum line, during which the members of Gamma Phi Sigma entered stage strolling to their beats.
Cortes played a crucial part in planning this annual event in past years, before passing the torch this year to his fraternity brother, junior secondary education major Randy Narvaez-Ruiz. This year was the fifth annual stroll competition, which brings light to one of the entertaining aspects of Greek life.
Cortes said strolling describes choreographed dancing in a line.
“It’s showing the fun side of Greek life by strolling,” he added.
Strolling has roots in the traditional “Divine Nine” Greek organizations. Today, many Latino Greeks and multi-cultural Greeks have added their own touches to strolling by incorporating cultural dances like salsa and meringue.
Planning for this event began this past summer. One major part of the planning process is confirming organizations participation.
“It’s amazing because you put a whole lot of practice in, and you get to do something for a good cause, and it’s entertaining,” Temple alumna and member of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc., Melanie Hernandez said.
Another first time occurrence was the special Unity Stroll performance by some members of the Temple University Greek Association. They presented the message that although organizations are different, they share common goals and are all a part of the university community.
Maintaining unity was a popular theme, but the show was a still a competition. After two rounds of strolling, the judges narrowed down the pool to the sorority winner, Chi Upsilon Sigma, and the fraternity winner, Delta Chi Psi Franternity, Inc. After a brutal battle of the sexes, the members of DXPsi won by one determining point. They received a check to the philanthropy of the organization’s choice and a plaque.
Paul Tran, a senior kinesiology major and member of DXPsi, said he couldn’t believe that they won after putting in weeks of practice.
“I feel great. It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “I’ll wait a couple of days, and then, I’ll realize that we won.”
This year’s stroll show proved to be successful in bringing Greeks together and showing the audience a good time. Competing in this year’s event were several Greek organizations from along the east coast such as Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc.; Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.; Chi Upsilon Sigma; Lambda Tau Omega Multicultural Sorority, Inc.; Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity, Inc.; Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.; Psi Sigma Phi Multicultural Fraternity, Inc.; and DXPsi.
Despite all the fun, the focus of the show remained – supporting the cure for cancer effort.
“It was an incredible amount of people that came out,” Narvaez-Ruiz said. “We [raised] over $1,500 for the American Cancer Society.”
Keisha Frazier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.