Sorority raises money for philanthropy with all-you-can-eat taco

More than 600 people partook in Wichita State sorority Alpha Phi’s Taco Phi’st this weekend for all-you-can-eat tacos in support of their philanthropy, the Alpha Phi Foundation.

The foundation has been around since the 1950s, but members and alumnae said it doesn’t benefit the sorority at all.

“Because of the name, sometimes people get confused and think we are raising money for ourselves, which isn’t the case,” said Marie Brewer, vice president of marketing for Alpha Phi. “We are raising money for women’s heart health research.”

All money raised from the taco smorgasbord, which cost $7 per person, will support heart health awareness through the foundation. Taco Bueno catered the event, providing all-you-can-eat tacos for lunch and dinner Friday, ‘Nachos at Midnight’ Friday and more tacos for lunch and dinner Saturday.

Family members, students and alumni and more came out to support the Phi’st, which Brewer said had been planned for eight months. Promotion by sorority members is what caught WSU junior Jordan Torres’ attention.

“I heard tacos,” Torres said, “and it was a no-brainer that we were going.”

Torres brought Junior Alex Hamel, and Newman junior Brandon Bozarth along to the event, too.

“He told me when to get in the car,” Hamel said, “and we came over from the west side of Wichita.”

The sorority had a live-feed of their Twitter account with hashtags to get people talking about the event. Because of the Twitter hype and successful promotion, the sorority received a shout-out from WSU men’s basketball player Ron Baker, who Tweeted where people could go to join the fun, as well.

Alpha Phi member Autumn Nance sat with her friends Carmen Ramirez and Nicole Burger from Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

Ramirez said unity is a common thing in the Greek community at WSU.

“People need to know that we are supportive of each other and what the other is trying to accomplish,” Ramirez said. “They come to all our stuff, and we go to theirs. It’s solidarity.”

Gamma Phi Beta is having a grilled cheese and soup feed April 23 and 24 to benefit Heartspring Pediatric Services. Tri-Delta sorority is having its annual “Putt-Putt for a Cure” to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Alpha Phi doesn’t have an official money count for the taco feed yet, but members said they were excited about the turnout.