For Knox students who had failed to get their fill at the Galesburg Chocolate Fest in February, Pi Beta Phi’s Dessert Wars provided an opportunity for students to once again enjoy chocolate for charity.
For sophomore and Pi Beta Phi member Amanda Lee, Dessert Wars was a way to bring the community together.
“At a lot of events, people do come, but there’s no incentive to,” she said. “Here, you get to try 20 different desserts.”
Junior Robin Mahung, philanthropy chair for Pi Beta Phi, said that Dessert Wars was born out of the sorority’s love of baking.
“Many of our members like to bake a lot, and it gets competitive at times,” she said. “People…went all out and baked really nice things [for Dessert Wars].”
Teams of four from various campus organizations each made a dessert that was available for tasting on Tuesday, Mar. 1 in Ferris Lounge. Students could then pay $2 in advance or $4 at the door to eat as much as they wanted and rank each dessert.
The spread on the dessert table was almost overwhelming, with treats ranging from espresso cupcakes to Irish soda bread to homemade Thin Mints.
“Some of these are quite interesting,” sophomore Chris Holland said as he meandered around the table, adding more desserts to his plate. “The orange spiced chocolate budino is really good. The chocolate-covered bacon is also good.”
“Mmmmm,” junior Michael Kolbeck said, when asked about the dessert he was eating. “These chocolate turtles are amazing. I can feel the effort that went into making them.”
Other favorites included blueberry cobbler, chocolate fudge pie and hot chocolate, which was provided by Pi Beta Phi.
“People are writing in the hot chocolate [on the ballots] because it’s the best,” senior and Pi Beta Phi member Kelsey Ingle said.
Those who came later in the evening were greeted with empty pans and crumbs, courtesy of the initial crowd of hungry students.
“I was really pleasantly surprised with the turnout,” Mahung said.
Some students ate so much, in fact, that they retreated to the couches along the sides of the room to let their stomachs settle.
“I’m very glad I worked out today,” freshman Alyssa Gill said. “So much dessert.”
In the end, though, only one dessert could come out on top. The residents of SMF House, located next to Jazz House, took home the prize for their lemon squares, with Arrow Alum—a team made up of Pi Beta Phi alumni—coming in second for their ding-dong cake.
Proceeds from Dessert Wars will go to the Pi Beta Phi Foundation, which provides scholarships and leadership development opportunities for Pi Beta Phi members. The Foundation also works with several literacy initiatives, including First Book, Pi Beta Phi’s national philanthropy.