UNA organizations compete to raise funds for United Way

Donations and ticket sales from Step Sing 2015 raised more than $13,000 for local charity organizations Feb. 6 and 7 in Norton Auditorium.

The villain-themed event benefits United Way of Northwest Alabama, the local branch of a national organization that provides programs to help meet communities’ financial, educational and health needs, according to its website.

“We are very grateful, particularly this year,” said Caitlin Holland, director of Resource Development. “Step Sing raises an incredibly significant amount of money.”

Some of United Way’s local partners include Safe Place, Rape Response, Hospice of the Shoals, Salvation Army of the Shoals and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Shoals.

Alpha Tau Omega won overall best performance for its “Mafia Men” routine.

“There is no comparable feeling to getting up there and doing that with such a hard-working group,” said Alpha Tau Step Sing captain Alex Hughes. “These guys just come in, work their butts off and pour their hearts into it.”

Junior Austin Bullock said the event met expectations.

“I think overall they all did great,” Bullock said. “I think ATO are really hardcore choreographers, and they’re really good at harmonizing. They all seem to work really well together.”

He said the villain theme allowed organizations to get creative with their routines.

“I think last year’s theme was a little bit more concrete and easier to follow, but I liked the interpretations of this year,” he said. “Everybody went a different angle and was able to stand out.”

The fraternity also won first place in the men’s division, which included Delta Chi, Kappa Sigma and Phi Gamma Delta.

“(ATO’s) performance was upbeat and they never had a slow song, so it kept the show going,” said sophomore Rachel Osborne. “It kept the crowd energized throughout their performance.”

Alpha Gamma Delta won the Kids Choice Award, voted on by local children in the Shoals area, and first place in the women’s division with their Lion King-themed performance “Beyond Pride Rock.” The women’s division also included Phi Mu, Alpha Delta Pi and Zeta Tau Alpha.

“Step Sing itself was full of excitement this year, along with some amazing performances from our fellow campus organizations,” said Alpha Gamma Delta Step Sing captain Laci Willis. “For Alpha Gam to win the women’s division and the Kid’s Choice Award was uplifting for all of our sisters. We worked extremely hard to produce a show for United Way.”

Phi Mu received the People’s Choice Award, raising $921 from donations during the two days of Step Sing. The sorority was also named second place in the women’s division.

The donations received for the People’s Choice award totaled about $2,800, said Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson.

The Honors Student Organization took first place in the coed division with its “Zombies” performance.

“There wasn’t anyone competing against us in coed, but we’re thrilled to win first place again,” said HSO Step Sing captain Hailey Boeck. “It’s just nice to have a coed division and be able to represent honors kids on campus. It’s nice to show them (we) can do fun things, too.”