Convention History: Violets & the Clasped Hands Fund

June 3rd, 2022
Filed Under: Foundation | Grand Convention

What are Violets for My Sisters?


In 1993, the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary. That very summer during the 1993 Grand Convention at Palm Desert, California, the Foundation announced our Clasped Hands Fund to help alumnae in need and started a fundraising effort that would soon become a decade-spanning tradition.


During the Foundation dinner that summer, each attendee received an anniversary card, and the Foundation Trustees asked all attendees to make a gift to the new fund in honor of a sister who represented the Clasped Hands of Friendship. After making their gift, each card was attached to the anniversary tree representing all the gifts that had been made that day in honor of these special sisters. Because of these original gifts, the Clasped Hands Fund was established with more than $14,000.


At the next Convention in 1995, the anniversary cards were replaced with silk violets that were tied to attendees’ nametags, and in 2001, a violet applique that could attach to recipients’ nametags was introduced. Now, it is a tradition for Convention attendees to visit the Violets for My Sisters table after checking in and find Violets that have been gifted for them to wear on their nametag throughout the week, including an honor card indicating the purchaser of the violet.


In 2020, the Covid-19 Pandemic put an end to in-person gatherings. However, Violets for My Sisters continued – this time, completely virtual! During 2020 and 2021, each Virtual Violet honoree received a notification email from the Foundation, sharing they had received a violet with the name of the donor who sent it. These Virtual Violets continued a time-honored Alpha Delta Pi tradition, connected sisters from coast to coast, and provided everyone the opportunity to support sisters when they need it most.


This year, Violets for My Sisters will be hybrid for the first time. Violets can still be gifted to Grand Convention attendees, so they can adorn their nametags with the classic violet applique, and Virtual Violets can be sent to any sister across the world, whether they will be attending Convention in Orlando, Florida, or not! To send your Violets this year and support our Clasped Hands Fund for alumnae facing financial distress, visit violetsformysisters.org now through Sunday, June 12.


What is the Clasped Hands Fund?


When Violets are given, these gifts are made in support of our Clasped Hands Fund. Established in honor of our motto, “We Live For Each Other,” the Clasped Hands Fund provides emergency financial assistance to alumnae who find themselves in financial hardship due to severe medical, personal, or family problems, natural disasters, or other emergency circumstances. Grants vary in amount based on the applicant’s need and unique circumstances.


After being established at the 1993 Grand Convention, the Clasped Hands Fund was endowed in 1997 thanks to a generous gift from Deen Day Sanders, Beta Sigma–Mercer. Since then, the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation has awarded more than $650,000 Clasped Hands Fund grants to Alpha Delta Pi alumnae in need. One Clasped Hands Fund Emergency Grant recipient shared the following:


“Receiving a grant from the Clasped Hands Fund was truly life-changing for my family. While we had financially planned for our last attempt at expanding our family, I unexpectedly had to have extensive imaging done for a new diagnosis of hip dysplasia and an outpatient procedure to try and manage the pain until surgery was more feasible. These medical bills resulted in the loss of our savings for expanding our family just weeks before finding out we were at the top of the list for embryo donation. This was our only shot, so we took out a loan. When all was said and done, we were thousands in debt and reminded of our grief each time our monthly loan payment came due. The grant we received from the Alpha Delta Pi Foundation gave us hope. It removed the monthly reminders that increased our heartache and pain and was the monetary help we needed to get back on our feet. Today, we are still grieving the many losses that have come with ending our journey with infertility but find comfort in knowing my sisters are always there for me.”


Applications for our Clasped Hands Fund Emergency Grants are accepted at any time. For more information on our Clasped Hands Fund Emergency Grant and how to apply, please visit alphadeltapi.org/emergencygrants.