A Legacy of Sisterhood and Giving

March 7, 2013

It was the year of 1957 when Phyllis Kossoff, one of the earliest volunteers of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and mother of a child with CF, found herself standing before a room of women, asking for help.

The sisters of DPhiE at Drexel University crown the newest Deepher Dude following the male beauty pageant competition.

The sisters of DPhiE at Drexel University crown the newest Deepher Dude following the male beauty pageant competition.

It had been two years since Phyllis and other parents banded together to create the CF Foundation. It was clear they needed to take the next step and raise funds to support their search for a cure. So Phyllis turned to her sisters — the women of Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority — and asked them for help.

More than five decades later, the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon, also known as DPhiE, continue to offer their support. Through Great Strides walks, 65 Roses Galas and a variety of other fundraisers, the sisters spread awareness of CF and raise funds on behalf of the Foundation at 90 chapters across the country and in Canada.

Drexel University DPhiE Raises $47,000 in a Male Beauty Pageant

This February, hundreds of students, faculty, friends and family gathered to support the CF Foundation’s mission and watch over a dozen men from Drexel’s fraternities and wrestling team compete to be crowned the next Deepher Dude. Now in its ninth year at the University, the male beauty pageant is a campus favorite and, this year, raised an amazing $47,000 toward the search for a cure for CF.

Opening the evening was Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, 28, who has CF. Emily spoke candidly to the audience about what it’s like to live with cystic fibrosis, saying, “Unlike so many of my peers making snarky remarks about reaching 30 and being ‘over the hill,’ you’ll never find me complaining about getting older.”

The room listened silently, taking in every word she spoke. “We have come so far, and we’re so close,” she continued. “But it’s up to people like you to help us reach the finish line.”

The men took the stage to compete in categories like talent, swimwear and formalwear, and even fought for the title by participating in a jump-rope contest. After each round, the sisters raffled off gift baskets, gift cards and nights out on the town.

The male contestants also did some fundraising of their own — hosting smaller events, like late-night barbeques, to raise money.

University of Miami DPhiE Turns up the Heat on its Fundraising

The sisters of the University of Miami pose for a picture with Delaney, 2, who has CF, at their Hoops for Hope basketball tournament.

The sisters of the University of Miami pose for a
picture with Delaney, 2, who has CF, at their Hoops
for Hope basketball tournament.

This past September, following their trip to Delta Phi Epsilon’s International convention in Miami, the sisters at the University of Miami decided to expand their traditional one-day fundraiser for the CF Foundation into a three-day, mega event.

Featuring a “Hoops for Hope” basketball tournament, “Jail ‘N’ Bail” fundraiser, jousting tournament and Deepher Dude competition, the sisters made sure CF was the talk of the campus all weekend, raising an amazing $30,000.

The chapter’s Deepher Dude was a huge hit, with 12 men participating from the school’s fraternities. Joining the judging panel was Bonnee Binker, volunteer at the CF Foundation’s South Florida Chapter, and grandmother to Delaney, 2, who has CF.

Each contestant was tasked with serenading the toddler with an original song that spoke about cystic fibrosis, Delta Phi Epsilon and Delaney. The men were then judged based on how well they met all three criteria.

The evening also featured a live auction, which sold a trip to a timeshare in Disney World, a night out in Miami’s Coconut Grove and a DPhiE-manned car wash for all campus fraternities.

“Delta Phi Epsilon’s continued commitment to the CF cause is truly amazing,” said Ann Palmer, senior vice president of field management for the CF Foundation. “Many of these women have no immediate connection to CF, and they continue to work tirelessly to support the Foundation’s mission. We couldn’t ask for better partners in our fight to cure and control this disease.”