Sigma Chi’s Derby Days philanthropy raises over $28,000 to help fight cancer
By Claire Healey, Sports Editor
Gettysburg College’s chapter of Sigma Chi celebrated a successful Derby Days philanthropy extravaganza this past week. Derby Days is Sigma Chi’s national philanthropy event and is used to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation was founded by Sigma Chi, Jon M. Huntsman Sr. who was a four-time cancer survivor. In 2015, the national fraternity pledged to raise $10 million in 7 years for the institute as they try to help be the generation that ends cancer.
The Gettysburg chapter contributes through Derby Days , where the six sororities on campus compete in week long challenges and daily events. Sororities earn points by finishing first or doing well in the daily activities, as well as doing well in the week long events.
Sigma Chi can also award spirit points to sororities who are particularly enthusiastic or supportive. The theme of the week was “a race through time, ” so for each daily event there was a certain theme girls and their coaches could dress up in to earn even more spirit points.
The fraternity uses several different events to fundraise for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation as well as collect money that will be given to the first, second and third place sororities’ philanthropies . F i r s t place could earn up to $400, second could earn up to $200 and third could earn $100.
Organizing and planning all the events for the week were Sigma Chi philanthropy chairman Jeremy Haas and assistant philanthropy chairman Matt D’Isidoro. The two were also responsible f o r k e e p i n g tr a c k o f points and releasing the standings at the end of every day.
Some week-long events included Penny Wars , where each sorority was given a container to f i l l with pennies and dollar bills, but silver coins count against groups final tally. Also, each sorority had a donation page for the Huntsman foundation so money could be raised directly for the great cause.
The week began on Monday night with the opening ceremonies and various activities all in space or at leas t in a space theme. Coming out of night one, Alpha Delta Pi was in the lead.
Going into Tuesday, the week long competitions were heating up, while the day included an afternoon event: the classic tricycle races around Stine Lake. There was a lot of excitement as the tricycles were new this year, but the new equipment also meant several wipeouts and spinouts around the race course.
The afternoon fun continued on Wednesday where sororities competed in field day style activities. Events included the tug of war, egg toss and other fun relays. Alpha Delta Pi recaptured the lead from Delta Gamma after field day.
Thursday night brought decades’ night, where each sorority dressed up as a different decade. Each sorority had two “derby darlings” for the week who competed in small timed activities before the main event of Thursday.
The Southern Belles competition made up most of Thursday nights’ festivities. Every sorority has one member of Sigma Chi as their southern belle who each come up with a routine to perform for a panel of judges. Thursday night included a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from teams in support of not only their own southern belle but also each other’s.
The most widely known activity of Derby Days is the hat collecting competition every Friday of that week. Each brother is given a gold hat to wear that day and sororities have to chase them down to win the hat. However, hats are not allowed to be stolen in any buildings, so girls camp outside academic buildings and other major places to race for gold hats.
Throughout the day as well, the fraternity will place hats around campus and post their locations on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Sororities earn points for each hat and those with the most hats also earn bonus points.
Once the hat competition was over, all the week long events ended as well to give the fraternity time to count points and determine a winner, which was to be announced on Saturday at the closing ceremony.
The final results of Derby Days were a surprise to many as the week ended with a three way tie for first between Delta Gamma, Alpha Delta Pi and Gamma Phi Beta. Each sorority was awarded $400 for their incredible determination and donating efforts throughout the week.
Most importantly, however, these events raised over $28,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. This week brought light to a very important issue and a foundation making great strides to help fight cancer.