Alpha Phi’s annual gala raising funds for women’s heart health


Courtesy Alpha Phi

Left to right, Asher Gannon, Channing Scarff, Kelsey Westgard, Carlee Crussell and Haley Ihler pose to promote the "Red Dress Gala." The gala began in 2016. Proceeds from this year's gala will go to the Alpha Phi Foundation and Sacred Heart Medical Center.

By Kaisa Siipola, Reporter

To raise money and awareness for women’s heart health, Alpha Phi is hosting its fourth annual Red Dress Gala at Gonzaga University’s John J. Hemmingson Center from 6-10  p.m. on March 16.

The gala includes dinner, a wine toss, and both a silent and live auction, according to Community Relations Vice President Kelsey Westgard. The auction includes over 20 baskets of items ranging from coffee baskets, yard games, wine and a trip to Schweitzer in Idaho, according to Westgard.  

Red Dress Chairman Alexis Swain is coordinating the event.

“Anyone from campus is invited,” Swain said. “A lot of Greek members come and our members’ families. Members from Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Sigma fraternities are the most common that attend, but a bunch of people from each attend because that is their way of supporting us.”

Women’s heart health is Alpha Phi’s philanthropy focus. The Red Dress Gala is its biggest event of the year and always occurs around March, according to Kelsey Bearden, a vice president for Alpha Phi.

Along with its philanthropy toward women’s heart health, Alpha Phi also donates the rest of the gala’s proceeds to an organization that stands out in the EWU and Spokane community. The organization is chosen by the people who attend and contribute to the gala each year, according to Westgard.

Proceeds raised at the gala will benefit the Alpha Phi Foundation and women’s heart health.

Anyone from campus is invited. A lot of Greek members come and our members’ families.”

— Alexis Swain, Red Dress Chairman

The foundation provides scholarships to undergraduate students, and their mission is to advance women’s lives through the power of philanthropy, according to the Alpha Phi Foundation website.  

“The Alpha Phi foundation is our international foundation for all of our chapters in the United States and Canada,” Westgard said.

Alpha Phi chose to donate proceeds from the Red Dress Gala to Sacred Heart Medical Center because it is local and has a heart care department that helps a large amount of patients, according  to Westgard.

Bearden said that she is excited to attend the Red Dress Gala for the first time. Bearden joined Alpha Phi because its philanthropic focus on women’s heart health was something that she could connect to due to having family members that have suffered from heart health issues.

EWU freshman Isabella Robertson was  recently initiated into Alpha Phi, and this will be her first time attending the Red Dress Gala.

Robertson said she is excited to see how many people will come and support Alpha Phi’s philanthropy and the event means a lot to her because being able to show support to those who are impacted by heart health brings so much joy to her sisters’ hearts.

Tickets for EWU students are $28 and can be purchased at •