The Delta Delta Delta sorority house on UCF's campus will be filled with pancakes and beneficial activities on Thursday as the sorority hosts its annual Delta House of Pancakes philanthropy event from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The all-you-can-eat event will raise money to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital — the sorority's philanthropic partner since 1999 — in search to understand, treat and defeat childhood cancer.
"St. Jude Children's isn't just a hospital, it's an answer for patients and their families that they may not have found anywhere else," said TriDelta President Jessica Vasquez.
DHOP is intended for the entire community and 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward St. Jude.
Last year, TriDelta's chapter raised more than $60,000 for the hospital and Vasquez said the sorority plans to exceed that amount this year.
The passion and drive the sorority has for St. Jude isn't only within the UCF chapter, as Vasquez said, it's instilled in TriDelta at a national level.
Last month, the sorority nationally pledged to raise $60 million in 10 years, making it the largest pledge the hospital has ever received.
"Our previous goal was $15 million in five years, but we reached it in only three and a half years," said Vasquez, a junior biomedical sciences major. "With such dedication, not only from our chapter here at UCF, but all the TriDelta chapters around the nation, I am very confident that we can reach our goal in less than 10 years."
This year, TriDelta has added a Dude for St. Jude competition, where guys can compete to raise additional money and awareness for St. Jude.
Ryan Whittington, a junior marketing major, is currently in the running for Dude for St. Jude, trying to sell the most tickets for DHOP and raise the most money through the event's activities.
The sorority has also included a Dunk-a-Dude activity, where the guys running for Dude for St. Jude will be dunked to raise money. This activity, along with others, can help the guys raise money for the competition. Whittington will be in the dunk tank from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
"St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a wonderful organization, and we are happy to support it in its efforts to save every life we can," Whittington said.
Tickets can be purchased in advance from any TriDelta sister, or purchased at the door on the day of the event for $8.
With a ticket, attendees can get unlimited pancakes, bacon, eggs and home fries. There will also be a raffle, a pancake-eating competition and a multitude of games, including the dunk tank, face painting, a merchandise boutique and music by DJ Chizzle and a live reggae/hip-hop band.
"St. Jude is truly a special place and we are extremely honored and privileged to be such a huge contributing factor in the fight to end childhood cancer," said TriDelta's Philanthropy Chair Stephanie Bratic in a press release.
Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSageor email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.