A philanthropic trip through America

The Green Music Center beamed with red, white and blue lights for Alpha Gamma Delta’s “See America in One Night” themed 23rd annual Lip Jam philanthropy event on Saturday night.  Alpha Gamma Delta swept the audience off their feet with a thrilling ride across America at Sonoma State University, with seven sororities and three fraternities showcasing their lip-syncing and dancing talent to raise awareness for its foundation in support of diabetes education and awareness.  

Since the Delta Rho chapter was founded at Sonoma State in 1991, the sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta have worked tirelessly to make Lip Jam one of the most anticipated events to attend on campus. 

With its third year hosting the philanthropy event at the Green Music Center, Alpha Gamma Delta has raised most of their revenue for its foundation through ticket sales and over $20,000 in donations. The final total hasn’t been announced. 

“Ticket sales alone were more successful than last year,” said Erica Purcell, sister of Alpha Gamma Delta. “We completely sold out in less than a week, which was the fastest we’ve ever sold out in Lip Jam history.”

In 2014, Delta Rho earned the award of Best Financial Support over the Biennium among over 120 Alpha Gamma Delta chapters internationally for raising over $70,000 for the foundation. Last year alone, the ladies of the organization raised over $36,888. 

People’s Choice, a Greek competition between sororities and fraternities to raise proceeds for the foundations that choose to partner with them, was another opportunity for community members, students and families to donate money. Alpha Omicron Pi won with a grand donation of $605.76. 

In order for the audience to see America in one night, each Greek organization was given the opportunity to choose a state to create a theme for each performance. Two musical artists/bands with origin in their perspective state needed to be incorporated with the usage of two different genres. Each organization also had to incorporate Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” in the performance. 

Through the consultation from a board of judges consisting of various staff members of Sonoma State, it was announced Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Psi earned the titles of Lip Jam 2015 Champions, breaking the two-year winning streak of Alpha Xi Delta as sorority Lip Jam champions for 2013 and 2014, and maintaining the fraternity championship title for Alpha Psi for the second year in a row from 2014 to 2015. 

“It was such a privilege to be able to work with and participate in Alpha Gamma Delta’s philanthropy, and I’m so proud of the hard work that my sisters have put in and the support from my chapter,” said Gamma Phi Beta Lip Jam Coordinator Carley Herrera. “We all had so much fun and it was an incredible feeling being on stage with so much talent.”

Although the ladies of Alpha Xi Delta surrendered the winning title they have maintained for the past two years, Gamma Phi Beta’s victory did not falter their spirit. 

“It has never been about winning or losing for us,” said Brianna Williams, Alpha Xi Delta Lip Jam coordinator. “Our main goal was for our chapter to have fun. As long as we went out there and had a blast performing, that’s all that matters. That’s exactly what we did and it definitely showed on stage.”

Hosts Julie Aldag from Alpha Xi Delta, Dominic Bing from Phi Delta Theta, and Conner Longmire from Alpha Psi commenced the event with witty jokes and clever references as they portrayed themselves as a flight attendant, bothersome passenger and pilot. Longmire was thrilled to have his fraternity win another year in his time as a host for Lip Jam. 

“I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out Alpha Psi won the second time in a row. They showed discipline, hard work and invested several hours a week in practicing to get [the routine] right,” said Longmire. “It was an incredible experience [being a host this year]. I always look forward to this event every year because it’s incredibly entertaining with the high energy that everyone enjoys while being on stage.”

Many Greek organizations had entertaining performances, but some stood out more than others. The newest initiate class of Alpha Gamma Delta kick-started the series of performances by the various sororities and fraternities with music from their state, Texas, with songs by artists such as Beyonce. 

Following Alpha Gamma Delta’s opening performance, Alpha Delta Pi stormed the stage, showcasing Arizona through the theme of Disney’s “Cars.” With songs from Dierks Bentley and Michelle Branch, Alpha Delta Pi sped its way through the stage on Route 66. Lambda Kappa Pi revealed its inner dark side with a “Star Wars” theme, using glow-in-the-dark light sabers and storm trooper masks to fight its way through the night showcasing Utah.

People’s Choice winners Alpha Omicron Pi flaunted its clever theme of a circus freak show, exemplifying a Mardi Gras theme for Louisiana with the ringleader convincing a partygoer to join while including subtle references to TV show “American Horror Story.”

Phi Delta Theta presented its northern California spirit through Bay Area music, dancing the night away with its witty dance routines.

Returning Lip Jam fraternity champions Alpha Psi showed its college football spirit with an Ohio State theme with brother Lavante Cervantes leading the performances with his impressive dance moves. The champions for the second year in a row made their way through the stage with a touchdown, wowing the audiences with their spirited energy.

Lip Jam 2013 and 2014 champions Alpha Xi Delta revealed its Bonnie and Clyde themed performance through a cops and robbers chase theme with subtle references to TV series “Orange is the New Black.” Phi Sigma Sigma brought the 90s back with a Rugrats theme, using artists such as Miley Cyrus and Kenny Chesney to present the babies’ voyage to Tennessee.

Sorority Lip Jam champions Gamma Phi Beta showcased its inner musical talent with the Broadway play “Chicago” to represent Illinois using the 1920s Prohibition era that inspired the musical as their theme. With elaborate costumes and outstanding choreography, Gamma Phi Beta swept the audience off its feet with its rendition of the musical that included songs from the play.

“As the years progress, the participants are becoming more creative with their themes and choreography,” said Purcell. “This year, some of the handmade props and costumes included electric lights and glow-in-the-dark paint.”

Alpha Sigma Phi revealed its inner childhood memories through a World Disney theme for Florida, using frivolous costumes to depict Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other elements. 

Kappa Delta Zeta revealed Georgia through a “Kim Possible” theme showcasing her fight for justice with sidekick Rufus against nemesis Shego.  Alpha Gamma Delta’s senior graduating class concluded the night with a “Seniors and the City” theme for New York in reference to TV show “Sex and the City.”

“Before going to Lip Jam for the first time this year, I didn’t understand what the big deal about it was,” said English major Kim Hurtado. “My friends convinced me to go and I figured it would be cool because it was for a good cause. After seeing it this year for the first time, I can see all the hard work each Greek organization put in to make it as successful as it was.”