A lot of the best memories from college are created when you exit your comfort zone and do something that frightens you. One such way to do this is by showcasing your talents in front of your peers.

For the past 17 years, the sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority organize an annual fundraiser, the Mr. and Miss GU pageant. This pageant features members from each campus organization to represent their club on-stage. The representatives endure a fashion/evening-wear portion, a talent round and a question and answer session. The duo with the best performance wins the coveted title of Mr. and Miss GU.

In 1997, the sisters of Alpha Gamma Delta came up with the idea of a fundraiser to unite the different campus groups. Today, a majority of Gannon clubs are represented in the pageant, including the sororities and fraternities on campus. The participants and sisters aim to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund of Erie. The sisters do additional funding by selling tickets days prior to the event to audience members.

AGD Philanthropy co-chair, Megan Vajda said, “Last year, $6,027 was raised from our pageant; $5,600 was donated directly to JDRF and the rest went to Alpha Gamma Delta to support our national philanthropy; diabetes awareness and education.”

This year, the pageant’s theme revolves around the “happiest place on Earth” (and a favorite childhood movie franchise): Disney! Contestants can opt to incorporate the theme into their performance or choose to take a more individualistic approach. The pageant took place April 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Hammermill.

In the fashion portion of the pageant, contestants are graded on their formal wear, like a typical beauty pageant. For the talent portion, contestants can perform their special skills. Popular talent acts include re-enacting skits or scenes from movies, dancing or singing. Sometimes, contestants even utilize their friends as backup performers. Either way, the talent portion is easily the audience’s favorite part of the pageant.

In the question and answer segment, contestants are drilled about current events, scenarios or happenings at the university. After the question and answer portion, the judges deliberate and then the crowning ceremony commences. In addition to the prestigious title of Mr. and Miss GU, there is also the title of Mr. and Miss Congeniality. This award is given to the participants who raised the most money for JDRF. The Mr. and Miss GU pageant is a great fundraising event because it showcases campus organizations while raising money for a charitable cause.

“My favorite part of the pageant is seeing all the clubs and organizations on campus get involved. It is a fun way to get everyone together while raising money for a good cause,” Vajda said. Not only does the event give back to the community, but it is also a guaranteed entertaining evening for the audience.”