On Nov. 20, the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon raised $7,377.50 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with their ninth annual Deepher Dude mock male beauty pageant. Bucknall Theater was packed to capacity as students, alumni, and faculty alike came to watch the contestants battle it out to earn the Deepher Dude title.
Deepher Dude, a competition consisting of eleven male contestants, all of whom were competing to be crowned the year’s Deepher Dude, was planned and coordinated by sisters Haley Ross, Vice President of Programming, and Kiley Pignataro, Coordinator of Philanthropy.
“The most challenging part of the event was making sure everything ran smoothly,” Ross said. “We had to make sure we had someone do the technical things, and someone to have the boys in the correct order while having someone else get the escorts ready and have smooth transitions. Once everything was started, it all kind of flowed together and when we got the hang of everything, it went off without a hitch!”
The event was hosted by Delta Phi Epsilon sister Kayla Wallace, a senior, and her sorority little, Brandyn Cesan, a junior. Both joked and had fun on stage while the contestants paraded around the stage performing hilarious skits, and answering questions about Delta Phi Epsilon and cystic fibrosis.
The first round was formal, and gave the judges and audience an opportunity to get to know the contestants. The hosts would say fun facts about each contestant, such as his ideal date. While the competitors changed after the first round, the Elite Step Team had an outstanding performance that brought the audience to their feet.
The next round was all about creativity, with appearances of hilarious costume by seniors Jerome Ware, who dressed up as Beyonce, and Dylan Taylor who came out as a magician and explained the “65 roses” that goes along with Cystic Fibrosis. “65 Roses” is what some children with cystic fibrosis call their disease because the words are much easier for them to pronounce. As Taylor said 65 roses and clapped, various audience members threw roses into the crowd as part of the magic trick. After that round, the 5678 Dance Team gave a fun, up beat performance as the competitors changed for the talent round.
The talent round was where the guys could showcase what talents they had. There was a fetching tribute to the infamous “Jingle Bell Rock” talent show performance from Mean Girls by Derek Neville and three of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers, which was met with screams and laughter from the audience. After the talent round, a Delta Phi Epsilon alumna spoke out about what her favorite Deepher Dude moment was as the contestants prepared for the question round.
The questions were a mix of trivia questions about DPhiE and some cystic fibrosis facts that the contestants were to study before. When that round concluded, the UNH Dance Team performed, and then it was time to reveal the winners and Deepher Dude.
Ultimately, Taylor emerged victorious, and was crowned this year’s Deepher Dude, but that was not the only accolade received that evening. In addition to declaring this year’s Deepher Dude, other honorable mentions went to Neville, who won fan favorite; Ware, who won sister favorite; and sophomore Chase Knepper, who won top fundraiser.
Taylor visited the homes of two children with cystic fibrosis to talk with the children battling the disease, as well as their parents, and got to know them before participating in the event. Taylor shared with the audience these families’ stories and his experience meeting them, and, in the process, proved that he was the best candidate for the contest.
The sorority Delta Phi Epsilon supports and raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, one of its two philanthropies, with this event. The organization raised an amazing amount of $7,377.50 for the foundation, which is $3,000 more than they raised for the Foundation last year.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but can also affect the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestines. This disease makes it increasingly difficult for patients to live normal lives, particularly in the case of kids. Tiffani DiNicola, a sophomore from Quinnipiac University, came to help support the event and to talk on stage about making her way through college as she battles cystic fibrosis. DiNicola discussed the challenges of living with the disease, but said that, at the end of the day, all the support she receives helps: “It is hard balancing classes, but I wouldn’t be able to do it with out the support of people like you.”
Both Ross and Pignataro were overcome with emotion when they showed the crowd the total of $7,377.50; anyone could tell how much this meant to them and to Delta Phi Epsilon, as well as those who suffer from cystic fibrosis. The audience rose from their seats to give the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority a well-deserved standing ovation.
“I have never been more proud to see a community like ours coming together to raise money for such a good cause and I am so thankful for everyone who came out and supported our event,” Ross said. “It truly made my senior year a great one.”