By Thomas Asbaty
On Friday, March 31, Alpha Epsilon Phi hosted its second annual Pearl Gala for pediatric AIDS in the Tilles Center Atrium. The sorority raised $2,285 , all of which will be donated to Alpha Epsilon Phi’s national philanthropy, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS foundation. “This was a charity fundraiser in which we had dinner/dessert buffets, live entertainment, 30 raffles, and presentations,” Mallory Schiff, a junior childhood education major and co-chair of national philanthropy for the sorority said. The fundraiser had live music by duo Lennon and Katie, a Long Island based acoustic duo who performed at the event for free. A trunk show from local boutique Vanilla Sky in Roslyn was also featured. Some of the most popular of the 30 raffle baskets included three tickets to a New York Knicks game and a lottery ticket tree. Companies such as Pandora, OtterBox, Panera and Applebee’s also contributed raffle baskets.
“EGPAF is an organization we are proud to support and represent,” Heather Felix, a freshman public relations major and national philanthropy co-chair of the sorority, said. “While the main purpose of the Pearl Gala is to raise money for pediatric AIDS, we also wanted to make it a priority to tell people about Elizabeth Glaser’s story and how her foundation impacting the lives of children suffering from HIV/AIDS.”
Elizabeth Glaser got HIV during a blood transfusion and without her knowledge she passed it onto her kids. After her daughter passed away from AIDS, Glaser started the foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing HIV/AIDS in young children and eliminating the disease through treatment and research programs.
“This is one of the biggest events we’ve had to date and we were so happy to share it with our LIU Post community. We’d like to see the tradition of the Pearl Gala continue so we can raise more awareness and funds each year,” Schiff said.
Schiff and Felix made speeches in front of the crowd of around 135 people at the fundraiser. Schiff spoke about Elizabeth Glaser’s foundation and Felix spoke about Elizabeth Glaser’s life.
They both gave credit to their sorority sister Fallon Boyle, a senior public relations major, with coming up with the idea last year, but the sorority decided to make it an annual event. Schiff and Felix organized the event this year.