Maddy McCallum, left, and Makenzie McHam work on putting together prizes and stuffing baskets Tuesday that will be up for auction for a charity event sponsored the Alpha Phi Sorority on Friday.
PAUL AIKEN
Maddy McCallum, left, and Makenzie McHam work on putting together prizes and stuffing baskets Tuesday that will be up for auction for a charity event sponsored the Alpha Phi Sorority on Friday.

The Alpha Phi chapter at the University of Colorado is raising the bar for Panhellenic fundraisers during its silent auction on Friday night.

Proceeds from the sold-out Red Dress Gala — a formal dinner and silent auction — will benefit the Alpha Phi Foundation, which supports women’s heart health and scholarships and leadership education for chapter members.

Event organizers said they hope to raise at least $20,000 this year with what they hope will become an annual event.

“We’re almost there and we’re expecting the auction to bring in a lot more with some big-ticket items,” said CU sophomore Maureen Dady, Red Dress Gala chair.

Items include time-shares, Broncos tickets, Nuggets tickets and a CU gift basket.

Dady said the sorority plans on the event spurring the largest amount ever raised by the chapter and by any Panhellenic event at CU.

Last year Alpha Phi raised just more than $1,000 during a date auction, organizers said. But this year, the women are taking note from other chapters across the nation that have raised upward of $50,000 in one night.

“We felt like this was a great way to contribute to the foundation and give big,” said CU junior Brooke Olson, vice president of marketing for the chapter.

Ann Carstensen, executive director for the foundation, said collegiate contributions make up a large portion of the group’s income and contribute significantly to its mission. Last year, collegiate chapters nationwide contributed more than $1 million to the foundation.

“Our women get excited about our cause and they really rally around it and get their families and campus to rally around it too,” Carstensen said.

More than 500 guests — including several Alpha Phi members and alumni — are expected to attend Friday night’s event.

While the event is intended to raise money for the foundation, organizers said it will be a fun experience for the students attending as well.

“After the auction, we’ll spend the rest of the night dancing and having a great time,” Dady said. “It’s going to be a great night all around.”