Fall philanthropy rakes in donations

Leaves aren’t the only thing changing on campus this fall. Greek philanthropy events are making strides to help out a veritable cornucopia of organizations, with charitable events occurring throughout the season. Take a look at some of the events that have already taken place.

Alpha Omicron Pi

The annual Mud Olympics, hosted by Alpha Omicron Pi, took place Sept. 24 at Frat Park. Each fall, Alpha Omicron Pi chooses where they want to donate the proceeds from the event, as it varies year by year, said Rachel Hyma, Alpha Omicron Pi’s philanthropy chair.

“We have a national philanthropy in the spring, but it’s nice to have the option to choose different charities to donate our proceeds to each year,” she said. “We write a paragraph on where the money should go, and then vote as a chapter.”

This year, Alpha Omicron Pi chose Meadowood Springs Speech and Hearing Camp in Oregon. The event hosted 38 teams, and each team had the opportunity to participate in the various Olympic activities, including human bowling, dodgeball relay races, tug-of-war and a balloon toss.

“We were afraid that because the event was so early, we wouldn’t have enough teams,” Hyma said. “But we got really positive feedback for the event, and we were happy with the turnout.”

Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi’s 38th annual Derby Days took place from Oct. 3 to 8 and raised more than $20,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, said Bobby Gehm, Sigma Chi’s philanthropy chair. Events included penny wars, food sales, a blood drive, volleyball tournaments and a “Battle of the 14’s” competition. The “14’s” from the participating sororities competed in activities such as a tug-of-war, an obstacle course, jousting and a hot dog-eating contest. Each event was based on points, and the hinumber of points a sorority received determined the winner.

This year, the winner was Kappa Alpha Theta. “We had more than 16 sororities participate in the event, more than we ever have in the past,” Gehm said. “It was great to see the Greek community come out and support us.”

Alpha Epsilon Phi

Alpha Epsilon Phi participated in the AIDS Walk and Roll Saturday, which is run by the Greater Community AIDS Project, or GCAP. One of Alpha Epsilon Phi’s national philanthropies is a pediatric AIDS foundation, so the University’s chapter brought things closer to home by raising money for a local charity furthering the cause. GCAP supports about 300 people living with AIDS in the Champaign area, and the house raised $3,400 for the organization. Supporters were able to participate in either a one-mile walk, a 5k run or a 10-mile bike ride. The event took place at Burwash Park in Savoy.

“Our sorority tries to raise as much money for [GCAP] as possible and we all go to the walk and participate and volunteer there to support them,” said Juila Bassewitz, the Alpha Epsilon Phi philanthropy chair.

Alpha Chi Omega

Alpha Chi Omega held their fifth annual paintball tournament Sunday to raise money to promote domestic violence awareness. 200 people, split into teams of 10, competed in one of two brackets. The winners of each bracket then competed against each other. The event took place at Salt Forks Paintball in Sidney from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The participants received a t-shirt, free equipment rentals, lunch and the opportunity to shoot each other for a good cause. Proceeds came from entry fees and donations from companies outside of the tournament.

“In the past, we’ve always [raised] around $7,000 to $8,000,” said Kelsi Rosella, an Alpha Chi Omega member. “Our chapter supports the Center for Women in Transition.”

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Delta Tau Delta

Delta Tau Delta raised $4,300 for the American Cancer Society during their 6th annual Deltona Beach philanthropy, which took place from Oct. 6 to 9, said Dan Smearman, Delta Tau Delta’s philanthropy chair. Events included a watermelon eating contest, a water balloon dodgeball tournament, a volleyball tournament and a “Hungry Hungry Sorority Girl” activity, which featured an activity similar to the board game “Hungry Hungry Hippos.” Participating sororities ran into a mud pit to grab their assigned colored balls and bring the most colored balls back to their basket.

“We had the best turnout for the mud pit,” Smearman said. “Everyone who I talked to said they had an awesome time.” “It is a very fun event year in and year out, and with each coming year more and more excitement is drawn into the events.”

Pi Beta Phi

Pi Beta Phi’s Arrowgames Flag Football tournament took place Sunday at Frat Park. The event consisted of a single elimination football tournament and raised money for First Book, a nonprofit organization that donates books to children in need, said Julia James, Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy chair. “It was the perfect day for a flag football tournament. We couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.”

Alpha Delta Pi

Alpha Delta Pi held their annual fall philanthropy event Saturday. “We have always had a fall sporting event for our philanthropy, and this year, we decided to do a co-ed kickball tournament,” said Amy Wheeler, the Alpha Delta Pi philanthropy chair. Eleven teams, each consisting of five men and five women who represented Greek chapters and local businesses, took over the Stanley Ikenberry Commons fields from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each of the teams received a t-shirt, but the Pi Kappa Alpha and Gamma Phi Beta members also came away with bragging rights as this year’s reigning champions. Alpha Delta Pi was able to raise about $1,200 for their philanthropy through entry fees, with all proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Alpha Gamma Delta

Alpha Gamma Delta hosted Water Wars, a water-based sports competition, on Oct. 5 at Frat Park. Events included a water balloon home run contest, water flippy cup, a muddy tug-of-war and a relay race with a shaving cream slip ‘n’ slide, said Lindsey Rapinchuck, Alpha Gamma Delta’s philanthropy chair. The sorority raised more than $3,500, with proceeds going to the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation, an organization which supports juvenile diabetes education and research. The winner of the event was Alpha Gamma Rho, who went undefeated and won a golden squirt gun.

“The overall experience was a huge mess, but that is definitely a good thing when it comes to Water Wars,” Rapinchuck said. “It was great seeing all the teams compete against each other, and it was huge success.”