Organizations step to raise funds for United Way

Editor’s note: Sigma Alpha Epsilon dropped out of the competition Oct. 17.

Seven organizations will compete in Step Show Oct. 17 to raise money for United Way of Northwest Alabama, an organization that raises funds for 20 local non-profits.

United Way raises over $1 million each year, and for every dollar, 99 cents helps local organizations like Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Northwest Alabama Reading Aides, said Beth Haddock, executive director.

The funds from Step Show and Step Sing, competitions in the spring where groups create singing and dancing skits, are donated to United Way of Northwest Alabama.

“What we get from Step Show and Step Sing ever year is a huge help,” Haddock said. “UNA is in our top 20 contributors, and most of that comes from Step Show and Step Sing.”

Last year’s Step Show brought in $6,556, and the 2012 show raised $6,240, said Tyler Thompson, director of Student Engagement.

Each group has 10 minutes to showcase its skills, Thompson said. They are judged on entertainment value, showmanship and preparedness. Judges will also consider consistency in their theme, as well as costumes.

Freshmen Aja Hall and Hunter Smith said they both want to attend to support United Way.

“I think it’s great that the money is going somewhere that needs it,” Hall said.

Smith said he would like more organizations to help out.

“If all the money goes to nonprofit organizations, it would be really cool to see more people get involved,” he said.

For those wanting to give a little more, each team will have buckets at the entrances for donations, said Kelsey Hyche, UPC service chair. The team with the most donations receives the Friend of United Way Award.

In addition to the overall winner, there will also be male, female and coed winners, Thompson said.

The male groups competing in the show are Phi Gamma Delta and Alpha Tau Omega.

Kahri Bolden, Step Show Chair for Alpha Tau Omega, said they will try their hardest to bring home the win.

“We’ll try to have a clean show and bring intensity,” Bolden said. “The females usually have a clean show, but they usually don’t bring intensity. That’s something we want to have, and it will make us stand out.”

The four female groups are Phi Mu, Alpha Delta Pi, Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Gamma Delta.

Honors Student Organization, the only coed team, will be competing for the first time.

“We want to keep it easy because this is our first year,” said Hallie Brown, HSO step show chair. “We have a really good group of members competing, and it’s been really great to choreograph. I feel like we can compete with the other teams.”

Senior Tim LeVan looks forward to seeing HSO perform, he said. When they competed in Step Sing for the first time, LeVan said they did a great job.

“I believe they can do the same with step show,” he said.

While both the Interfraternity Council and National Panhellenic Conference have participants, no National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations will be in Step Show.

“With NPHC, we would concentrate more on our steps, while Step Shows in the past have been all about costumes and flair more than stepping,” said Deondrick Orr, NPHC president. “We feel as though we wouldn’t get judged fairly for that.”

Orr said NPHC offers support and is willing to help with any participating groups. He also said NPHC will have a stroll off in the GUC banquet halls Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. for those wanting to see them perform.

The step show will be in Norton Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets are $9 if purchase online and $10 if guests pay at the door.