In a rented-out airplane hangar at John C. Tune Airport, the sky really was the limit for Phi Mu and its annual philanthropy Model for a Miracle, which raised a record-breaking $17,500 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals on Saturday.
Phi Mu supports CMNH as its designated philanthropy, and, as such, all the money raised from ticket sales, a silent auction and fundraising website DonorDrive went to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, which is a member of the network.
“I’m excited,” said Phi Mu President Morgan Stone. “It was such an incredible day. It really couldn’t have gone any better.”
The event basically amounts to a “huge fashion show,” said Stone, in which members from Belmont sororities–in outfits provided by local boutiques–walked with Miracle Kids on a bona fide catwalk.
Families of the Miracle Kids intermittently took the stage and shared their stories of how the network has helped them, which is really what it’s all about, said Stone.
Approximately 400 people attended, a group comprised of Phi Mu sisters, current patients at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and their families, vendors and members from other Greek organizations.
In addition, the fundraiser featured eight local on-site vendors and a silent auction. Hayley Lewis, perhaps better known as Miss Tennessee, emceed.
To cap off the night, a quartet of Phi Mu members presented the check, which was massive both in size and in value.
It read that $17,582.16 had been raised.
Last year’s total was $9,000.
When they unveiled the check, all participants of the event were still present, including the kids the money directly benefited.
“Everyone was so excited,” said Stone. “I remember looking over to one family specifically–they had been one to come up and talk–and they were in tears.”
Stone attributed this year’s exceptional success to more outreach and more strategic planning, two things which philanthropy chair Brooke Pulkrabek could take responsibility for.
Pulkrabek wasted no time in planning the event, which had been in the works since she received the philanthropy chair position in November. She was assisted by her committee members and others in the sorority.
The funds raised from this event, combined with those from February’s Vanderbilt Dance Marathon, bring Phi Mu’s yearly total to more than $20,000.
“It was awesome to give back to the community and our neighbors at Vandy,” said Pulkrabek. “It was nice to see my hard work wouldn’t go unnoticed, hard work which goes back to Children’s Miracle Network and the kids.”
Photo: Cindy Harrison