Becoming a Sigma Phi Gamma Sister – Vittoria Trentacoste

I’ve heard many stories about my great-grandmother Violet Pettit Tindall. Stories of how meaningful sorority was to her, how much she enjoyed giving back, and being surrounded by Sisters. Although I lost my great-grandmother when I was young, I was able to get to know her. Thoughtfulness, care, and love seemed to emanate from her. Those memories made me realize that Sigma Phi Gamma is a group that I too want to be a part of. I’ve often felt there was something missing in my life and that I never quite fit in, until now.

Service work is one of my life long passions and I enjoy giving back to my community. Reaching out and helping others makes my heart full. So it seemed a fitting time in my life to look into my great-grandmother’s friendship and service sorority. I made my first contact through the SPG website. It took a while to get into contact with someone who could lead me in the right direction. I learned that while there are Chapters in Northern California, all of them were just too far away for me to attend monthly meetings and social activities. I was then told how the sorority was trying to launch a Virtual Chapter and I thought that would be perfect for me. I was put in contact with Sharon Hilton, and we discussed how the Virtual Chapter would work. I became very excited to learn more.

The first meeting was in March and I got a sense of how everything works; the goals and expectations. I also heard that the International Convention would be hosted in Portland Oregon, and registered immediately! I studied parks and recreation in college so the route to the Portland location was very attractive to me. The drive through so many beautiful state and national parks was an enticement on its own. Before leaving for the trip, my Virtual Chapter started talking about the prospect of being pledged at International. I was ecstatic! I was finally going to be following in my great-grandmother’s footsteps.

June came quickly, and I was becoming more and more excited and maybe a little nervous. Who wouldn’t be a little nervous to go somewhere you’d never been and surrounded by people you didn’t know? After my arrival into the city of Wine and Roses, I went to pick up my registration packet. Three women were there smiling at me and so excited to meet me. I just knew that I had no real reason to worry.

I soon met up with two of my virtual Sisters and I met their wonderful group of fun loving Sister friends. We all jumped in the car and went to dinner. Upon our arrival back to the hotel for the first night of fun, I ended up sitting at the International Officers’ table. At the time no one really knew who I was except that I was a pledge from the Virtual Chapter. As I introduced myself I could see the excitement in their eyes as they realized my connection to sorority. As the events of the week went on I felt more and more comfortable. As someone who sees them-self as a shy and quiet person (you would never believe that after seeing the skit I was in), I definitely became more at ease being me. I started to sit at different tables, have conversations with anyone I sat with, and most importantly I started to feel like I had a giant family who would support me in everything I do. For many years I’ve struggled to make friends as I’m not typically an outgoing person. But now I’ve found my place in sorority, to be the outgoing fun loving person that was inside of me all along.

Pledge day came and I once again started to feel nervous. I so wanted to make my great-grandmother Violet proud, and I knew she would be. As the minutes melted away and it came time for the Pledge Service, I knew I was going to be just fine. My temporary anxiety melted away and for a moment I could feel the presence of my great-grandmother Violet standing next to me as I received my pledge pin. I choked back tears, happy to be able to continue what my great-grandmother helped to start ninety-eight years ago. I feel absolutely honored to be joining Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority.

After the Pledge Service, I met up with a tour group to visit the beautiful International Rose Tea Garden and Pittock Mansion. I was able to get to know some of the Kappa Province Sisters as I walked through the gardens. We had so much fun taking time to literally smell the roses. Once the tour group returned to the hotel, it was time to get ready for Recognition night. Let me just start by saying that the food was amazing, the company was delightful, and I was tearing up while women were being recognized for their long term commitments to sorority. I knew right then that I would be a Sister for life. As I was getting ready to leave I started to feel sad that I would not be able to spend more time with the friends I had just made until next year. I loved my first Convention and I am proud to be a Pledge for Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority. I can’t wait for next year!

15 thoughts on “Becoming a Sigma Phi Gamma Sister – Vittoria Trentacoste”

  1. I totally understand the feeling you felt. But, our sisterhood is so perfect in that even though you felt like a stranger you really weren’t. The smiles, hugs, and love they give come straight from their hearts and I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful sisterhood. Welcome new Sister! Welcome!

  2. My grandfather was on the Hartford City council when Foundes’ Park was dedicated. I am very proud and the park holds a special place in my heart. My home was a block away so I spent a lot of time at the park. I am a 58 yr proud member. Welcome.

  3. Dear Tori,
    I enjoyed getting to meet you at the Officers’ Welcome. (a little secret- we did know who you were) We didn’t want you to feel overwhelmed by our excitement of who you are connected to so we played it calm. We could tell you weren’t use to being in the limelight & you were definitely right in the center of all the attention! You handled it all nicely.
    You being our first Virtual member to become an actual pledge was exciting to witness!
    To have one of your Chapter sisters pledge Virtually at the same Pledge Service, was an exciting first to witness as well!
    Fraternal organizations are struggling to survive in todays society. 98 years ago our Founders-your great-grandmother being one of them- started a friendship & community service sorority & it’s today its members are doing all they can to not only see SPG survive but to actually thrive & grow! We’re trying new ideas & going in directions never imagined.
    I look forward to sharing many years of sisterhood with you Tori!
    ♡ in SPG,
    Linda Bullington
    Help Keep SPG Glowing, By Growing!

  4. Tori, we are so honored to have your love and compassion for service as part of our daily efforts in SPG. Your words and reflections remind us all about our beloved Founders, our pledge of friendship and service, and most of all about the future.

    Looking forward to seeing you many times in the years to come. Keep posting those fabulous photos on Facebook and staying connected in all ways possible.

    Love in SPG,
    Donna

  5. Tori’s story is so touching. I loved reading it and I loved meeting her at Convention. A really wonderful young lady! Welcome!!!

  6. I was honored to be at the same table with Tori at the recognition banquet, she was, in some ways, the star of the table, in others, just one of us! Several ladies, once they realized her SPG connection, had a “Grandma Violet” story to share. Tori was gracious and attentive, everything “Grandma Violet” would want her to be! Welcome Home, Tori! We are beyond thrilled to have you!!!

    Cindy

  7. Tori,
    Great to have you as a pledge of our great sorority. Your great-grandmother was a very special lady.

  8. Loved reading about your first Convention Tori. Thanks to Violet I have met many life long friends ! Our community service is the best part…Looking forward to seeing you at Convention next year!💜💜💜

  9. Tori,
    What a pleasure to share so much time with you during your first convention. I always tell my chapter sisters that International Convention is the place to refill my SPG meter. Sometimes I get bogged down with life that the thought of another meeting, or having to review bylaws seems like a task. When I attend convention and see the love of my sisters I am reminded of why I belong to this amazing group. That when I go home my purpose becomes clear and I am renewed for another year until I see my sisters again. You are going to have life long friendships, make amazing memories, and have some of the best times with your new sisters. I can’t wait to see you again and remember if you’re ever in Socal hit me up. Until next year…

  10. Tori you are an amazing young woman! I enjoyed our time together on the Rose Garden Tour and I look forward to seeing you again.

  11. Hi Betty,
    Oh to be back in your Chapter! I think of you often and follow your activities on Facebook. YOU are so active, keep it up!!!!
    Hugs,
    Mary

  12. Tori, I was as excited as anyone to meet you in Portland. As the outgoing AEX Chair, moments such as your pledging ceremony give me hope for the future of SPG that your great grandmother helped to found. We are all blessed because of her and our other Life Founders. Your link as a SPG sister will only get stronger like gold tested in fire. Welcome with love.

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