Goal: 1,000 guests for annual benefit dinner

By Jade Mardirosian
Staff Writer

Students hungry for a cause can attend the second annual Spaghetti Not-So-Formal dinner benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in 510 Cashion Academic Center.

The event will be hosted by Delta Delta Delta and Alpha Tau Omega.

Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 for a ticket and T-shirt, sold at the Bill Daniel Student Center and Collins, Penland and Memorial dining halls. Tickets can also be bought at the dinner for $7.

The dinner will include spaghetti, breadsticks, salad and cheesecake, all donated by The Olive Branch and Blanek’s Custom Catering.

Tulsa senior Robert Paulsen, philanthropy chair for ATO, said all the money raised from the dinner will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a treatment and research facility that focuses on catastrophic diseases, including cancer.

“The coolest thing about this event is the fact that everything has been donated,” Paulsen said. “Every single dollar you spend is going to go straight to St. Jude’s [and] that is definitely a blessing. It’s also the cheapest good meal you are going to find in Waco.”

Denton senior Chelsi Patterson, philanthropy chair for Tri Delta, said the spaghetti dinner held last year had about $4,000 raised and 750 people attending.

This year, the event’s organizers hope to have 1,000 people attend and raise $7,000.

“We had a really good turn out [last year],” Patterson said. “It was only two hours long and we were serving people for about two and a half hours; we ran out of spaghetti in an hour. That’s why this year we extended the time and requested a larger venue. We want more people to come [this year] because it is for a good cause.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is Tri Delta’s national philanthropy and last year the Baylor chapter raised $32,000 for the organization through events such as the spaghetti dinner, an all-university ultimate Frisbee contest and letters sent to family members and friends asking for donations through their name.

Giselle Fernandez, a marketing representative from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, said the money raised by both Baylor Tri Delta and the other chapters in the country is used in a variety of ways.

“The difference between our hospital and others are our families never see a bill,” Fernandez said. “We cover all of their expenses, not only the treatments but their housing and transportation. We are able to do that through our fundraising efforts with programs like the Tri Deltas.”

Fernandez said about 81 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to patients to help fund treatment, housing and transportation.

He also said Tri Delta began a campaign last year to raise $15 million dollars in five years and already raised $3.5 million dollars last year alone.

“They do such a great job,” Fernandez said. “They already accomplished a campaign to raise $10 million dollars in 10 years, which began in 2006 and was completed in 2010.”