Alpha Phi raises $15,000 through Bid Your Heart Out fundraiser

The sisters of Alpha Phi held their sixth annual Bid Your Heart Out (BYHO) philanthropic event Friday evening, raising approximately $15,000 to support women’s heart health.

Over 500 people attended the event, which started at 8 p.m. in the Sophia Gordon Hall multipurpose room with a silent auction, according to Martha Meguerian, Alpha Phi’s co-director of BYHO. At 9 p.m. the event moved to Cohen Auditorium for a live auction and performances by S-Factor and Spirit of Color, Meguerian, a senior, said.

This year, BYHO raised more money than ever before, Meguerian said. She added that all proceeds from BYHO went to the Alpha Phi Foundation for research of women’s heart health.

Last year, the event raised more money than any other Greek chapter event in all the NESCAC colleges, according to Meguerian. Though the NESCAC has not yet made this year’s announcement, Co-Director of BYHO Emily Rennert, a senior, believes that Alpha Phi at Tufts will likely receive this recognition again.

Meguerian and Rennert said that this was the third year in a row in which they served as co-directors of the event.

“Each year we really just want to top the amount raised the year before,” Meguerian said. “That was a fundraising goal, to keep increasing the proceeds as much as we can. One of my goals was to have the event run smoothly, and I think it ran really well.”

By the end of the night, 110 of the highest bidders at the event won prizes, which included gift baskets of makeup, New York Giants season tickets and gift cards to restaurants in Davis Square, among other places, Meguerian said. Additionally, Alpha Phi auctioned off tasks and favors, according to Co-Director of Philanthropy at Alpha Phi Madi Friedman, a sophomore.

“A group of our senior girls offered one bidder a pizza party at their house, and some brothers in Zeta Psi offered to fix something in your off-campus house,” Meguerian said.

All of the sisters donated either money or gifts to the auction, Friedman said. They also obtained donations from stores and restaurants throughout Boston, Somerville and Cambridge. Additionally, Tufts fraternities Zeta Psi, Theta Delta Chi, 45 and Delta Upsilon each donated a gift or a favor and put on brief, comical performances at the event, according to Friedman.

Friedman said that she, Meguerian, Rennert and other sisters started planning for the event at the end of last semester, but most of the work began in January. The sisters put up posters around campus, created a social media campaign on Instagram and filmed a promotional video for the event.

Sisters made cookies the night before to serve at the event, and Meguerian, Rennert, Friedman and sophomore Olivia Scheyer, co-director of philanthropy, started setting up in Sophia Gordon at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Friedman said. Though she said it took a lot of work for those running BYHO, she believes that those who attended the event had a good time.

This was the first year during which the silent auction component was held in Sophia Gordon rather than the Alumnae Lounge, which meant that attendees had to move to Cohen Auditorium between the silent and live auctions, Rennert said.

“We were really nervous about this change at first, but after everything was all said and done, I liked it because we had an open space in [Sophia Gordon], and people walking by looked in to see what was going on,” Rennert said. “So, we got a lot of passersby coming to the event, and the transition worked really well because everyone walked to Cohen together.”

Alpha Phi International selected the cause of women’s heart health for fundraising events among all chapters nationwide, according to Meguerian. She said that the cause matters to her because heart disease is the primary killer of women.

“Some Greek organizations’ philanthropy goes towards a general organization, but we like that ours is women-centric because we are a group of women,” she said.

Friedman believes that the event was important because of both the cause of women’s heart health as well as the implications of the amount of money Alpha Phi raised.

“It shows what one sorority, with the help of the Greek community, local stores and families can accomplish in one night,” she said. “Everyone can come together from all different groups in the Tufts community — sports teams, performance groups, not just Greek life. The items we auctioned off weren’t just related to sororities, so it’s a wide-reaching event for a great cause.”

Meguerian expressed her overall satisfaction with the event and the amount of money raised.

“We love that we can send that huge check to the Alpha Phi Foundation for Women’s Heart Health,” she said. “It makes people take us more seriously. We’re a group of girls who like to have fun, but we can also raise so much money for an important cause.”