Deepher Dude Raises Over $18,000


Friday night, Nov. 10, Delta Phi Epsilon held their annual Deepher Dude pageant, raising $18,111 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and shattering their $15,000 goal.

Twelve contestants competed in three rounds for the Deepher Dude title, which was eventually awarded to contestant Dave Ely. Three additional titles were also awarded: Most Enthusiastic to Nash Khairi, Sister Favorite to Steve Anuskiewicz, and Top Fundraiser to George Rich.

The event took six months to plan and was spearheaded by the sorority’s Coordinator of Philanthropy, Kayla Schmidt and the sorority’s Vice President of Programming, Katie O’Connor.

“It’s definitely a challenging process,” said O’Connor. “It definitely wasn’t easy at points but thankfully I had Kayla and the support of my entire organization throughout the process.”

Deepher Dude has been taking place annually since 2007 when the chapter was founded on campus, but this was the most successful one to date, according to O’Connor. This year brought the most contestants the event has ever had as well as several cosponsors.

“This event helps to remind me that we have so much potential to do good things for this world, and when we work together that potential increases exponentially,” said O’Connor.

This year’s Deepher Dude was set apart from others in the past because of the attendance of former Miss Philadelphia and Cystic Fibrosis warrior, Julia Rae Schlucter. She spoke about growing up with a chronic illness, the mental and emotional side effects that came with it and the grim outlook her doctors gave her parents. As a young child she was told that she would not see college, but research has been advancing, largely with the help of fundraisers like Deepher Dude, and she is now twenty-five.

“These kinds of events literally change my life,” Schlucter said. “I am dreaming about a future that I never thought was possible because of fundraisers like Deepher Dude and it’s important for me to be here and share my story and hopefully inspire them to keep going. Sharing what CF is with people can be difficult but doing it in such a fun way is incredible and also just seeing how passionate people that have never even heard of CF before this event can become about fundraising for something that is not close to their heart necessarily but now it is because of Deepher Dude.”

O’Connor expressed her feelings about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, explaining that she grew up with a friend who had the condition and now takes every opportunity to raise money and awareness. Schmidt had similar sentiments about how important the event is as a whole.

“After learning more about Cystic Fibrosis in my time as Coordinator of Philanthropy and how it affects people, it has given me motivation to do as much as I can to raise money and awareness for the cause and this event is such a great way to do that,” said Schmidt.