Hard work pays off for Alpha Mu’s annual fundraiser

Taylor Stephens and Aubry Linn pose in front of the cook-off sign

Months of preparation paid off for the Alpha Mu chapter when it came time to prepare for the chapter’s seventh annual Chili Cook-Off. The chapter, located at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, raised over $30,000 to support both the Tri Sigma Foundation and a local nonprofit with an event the chapter has continued to grow each year.

Thirty-two teams made up of friends, family, fraternities, and members of the ULL community competed to cook up the best chili in all of south Louisiana. The chilis are judged by renowned members of the community, including university officials and popular locals. The cook-off had entertainment in the form of live music from The Good Dudes, a silent auction, sweets and drinks for sale, face painting, a March of Dimes Bubble Zone, and a booth where people can learn more about Tri Sigma’s philanthropic mission.

“Our Chili Cook-Off is also spiced up even more by a performance from the cheerleaders of D.R.E.A.M.S. of Acadiana, our local philanthropy,” Chapter President Margaret Shepherd said. “D.R.E.A.M.S. of Acadiana is a local nonprofit that was started by an Alpha Mu alumna Donielle Watkins and provides resources and extracurriculars for individuals with special needs and their families.”

The grand fundraising total for Chili Cook-Off 2019 was $31,323. The chapter distributed the funds among the various funds of the Tri Sigma Foundation, including scholarship funding, March of Dimes, and unrestricted dollars. The chapter also donated to the D.R.E.A.M.S. Foundation of Acadiana, the chapter’s local philanthropy.

“Alpha Mu cannot wait to see all the amazing things that the Foundation will do with our funds,” Margaret said.

Marlee Davis revealed to the chapter the amount raised during the annual Chili Cook-Off using a cookie cake.

The chapter’s Foundation co-chairs work hard all year long to prepare for the Chili Cook-Off. Margaret provided the following advice for other chapters that might want to start their own Chili Cook-Off fundraiser:

  1. Set a fundraising requirement for each individual member. We set a ticket sale requirement and minimum dollar amount that each chapter member must raise, whether it be through sponsorships, extra ticket sales, silent auction item donations, or getting a team.
  2. Ask your loved ones to support our cause! Our chapter utilizes CrowdChange as well as sends letters to a designated number of friends and family members to notify them about our upcoming event and ask for their support.
  3. Strategize, set new goals, and don’t give up. We attribute a lot of our fundraising success to being able to revamp and level-up our event each year. One day, we hope that our Chili Cook-Off is an event that everyone in Lafayette wants to participate in and attend.