Alpha Phi, the winning Loyola Marymount University sorority of the Ritz-Carlton Gingerbread Joust in November received the first ever “Gingi” Award during an LMU basketball game on Thursday, January 22nd.

Alpha Phi battled it out with other LMU sororities and fraternities — Delta Delta Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Chi, Pi Beta Phi, Delta Zeta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Sigma Rho Chi — over gingerbread, icing, candy and food dye at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey on November 11th.

The winning Alpha Phi team members — Jessica Kopel, Jennifer Nettleton, Melissa Figel, Jenn Maches and Leigh Cousins — beat out the competition with their re-creation of Henri Matisse’s Blue Lady, using M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses and frosting.

The team has decided to use its winnings, complimentary meeting space at the Ritz-Carlton, to hold its yearly formal, said Emmie Lancaster-Wingler, public relations manager of the Ritz-Carlton.

The contest was inspired by the ongoing, revolving art collection display in the hotel’s lobby lounge. In the spirit of collegiate rivalry and a festive holiday atmosphere, Robert Thomas, general manager of the hotel, invited the LMU sororities and fraternities to compete against one another under the experienced eye of executive chef Brad Minton and his team in designing works of art fashioned after Matisse’s great masterpieces.

The winning team was determined by hotel guests who were given recycled wooden tokens with every purchase and then placed the tokens in sealed boxes next to their favorite artwork re-creation.

“The Ritz Carlton is looking forward to hosting the competition again this year and bringing in the community for a spirited and creative event,” said Thomas.