Last week, sororities Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Phi danced and brunched to raise money for their philanthropic ventures as part of their largest fundraisers of the year.

Pi Phi, which raises money each year to support children’s literacy, threw a black light dance party for Yale students called “Pi Phi Highlight” at Toad’s Place on Wednesday. APhi held a “red dress brunch” at Jack’s Bar and Steakhouse in support of women’s heart health on Saturday.

The members of Pi Phi sold 250 Toads tickets — donated by the York Street venue — in the week before the event. Attendees were encouraged to wear white, and members of the sorority passed around neon highlighters that glowed in the black light. The regular Wednesday Toad’s experience transformed into an interactive party in which partygoers wrote and drew on each other’s white clothing, according to Joanna Wu ’20, the vice president of philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi.

“It adds a new component that doesn’t exist at regular Woads,” said Wu, referring to other Wednesday night dance parties at Toad’s Place.

The event is a component of Pi Phi’s longstanding philanthropic tradition.  Each year, the sorority raises money for “Read >Lead >Achieve,” a children’s literacy initiative, said Wu. “Read>Lead>Achieve” includes a reading enrichment program, an advocacy training program, and a national literacy awareness month.

“As a group, I think we’re very proud of our philanthropic mission of promoting literacy and supporting the overarching Pi Phi’s philanthropic effort, Read > Lead > Achieve,” said Pi Phi member Heather Foster ’21. “We love that it allows us to put on fun events for the student body, like highlight, but also volunteer with local literacy efforts like New Haven Reads.”

The Pi Phi Highlight event was soon followed by another annual sorority fundraiser — Alpha Phi’s “Red Dress Brunch.” On Sunday, almost 200 Yale students attended the unlimited brunch, according to Vice President of Community Relations for Alpha Phi Kristen Gomez ’20. Tickets were sold at $15 and the event raised about $2000 in proceeds, said Gomez.

All proceeds will be donated to the Alpha Phi Foundation, which raises money “to award grants specifically for scholarship and cardiac aid,” according to its website. Last year, the foundation donated its $100,000 Heart to Heart Grant to the Yale School of Medicine.

Brunch attendees wore red dresses to support the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. The national campaign aims to raise awareness of and fundraise for heart disease and stroke in women.

“It was so cool to see a room full of women all wearing red for the cause,” said Neelam Shaikh ’21.

Shaikh, a member of Pi Phi, said she attended the APhi brunch event to support the cause and her friends in other sororities.

Following their largest events of the year, both sororities have plans to continue with their philanthropy, according to members of each sorority. Wu said Pi Phi will host the annual “Pie a Pi Phi,” fundraiser, a spring event in which members of the community can purchase the chance to throw a pie at a member’s face. Alpha Phi will celebrate a heart health week during spring semester, according to Gomez.

Pi Beta Phi and Alpha Phi are two of the four sororities at Yale.

Lindsay Daugherty |