Derby Days brings IWU together for a cause

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By: Stephanie Vargas, News Editor

Monday, April 9 marked the beginning of Sigma Chi’s annual Derby Days competition and fundraiser.

Throughout the week, Sigma Chi, in collaboration with each sorority on campus, works to raise money and spread awareness through various activities including a dodgeball competition, bake sale, a brother auction, a dunk tank and a dance battle.  “With it being towards the end of the semester, it’s nice having Derby Days as a distraction from some of the everyday stress we have with school and work,” junior Alexa Thorson said. “While it can get competitive among sorority women, at the end of the week it’s all for a great cause.”

All of the proceeds go to Sigma Chi’s philanthropy: The Huntsman Cancer Foundation. “Huntsman Cancer Foundation is a charity dedicated to fundraising for Huntsman Cancer Institute, an organization dedicated to finding the cure to cancer,” sophomore Braden Miller said. “It was started by Jon Huntsman Sr., a Sigma Chi in Pennsylvania.”

Throughout the week, each sorority is awarded points for winning events. At the end of the week, one sorority will win Derby Days, signifying their contributions to Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Derby Days began with banner making on Monday. Different sororities came together to create banners representing their sororities and supporting the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority won the banner making competition. “Seeing everyone really get involved and knowing that were making a difference is an amazing feeling for me,” Miller said.

Tuesday night Sigma Chi hosted a dodgeball tournament held in Shirk Center. The Kappa Delta Sorority won the tournament. “Winning the dodgeball tournament felt great because it was an exciting game and all the other Greek organizations were very supportive,” freshman Melissa Sanford said. “I enjoy participating in Derby Days because I like helping support Sigma Chi and their philanthropy, Huntsman Cancer Foundation.”

On Wednesday, sororities spent the morning selling homemade cupcakes in the Dugout. Each cupcake was sold for $1, and all of the proceeds went to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. All sororities managed to sell out of the cupcakes they made for charity. “Cupcake Day is one of my favorites. It’s awesome to see how each sorority puts their own ideas into making great cupcakes, promoting campus wide support toward philanthropy,” junior Paige Seitz said. “At the end of the day, a cupcake victory tastes sweet.”

“I loved watching the dunk tank, and I think it’s awesome that they do this for their philanthropy,” freshman Carlie Haagen said.Students were invited to dunk Sigma Chi’s and their friends in a dunk tank on the quad. Dunks were sold for $1, and all proceeds went to charity. Sigma Chi raised $600, as of Wednesday, in these events alone. “Our goal is to get to $5,000,” Miller said. “Altogether, Sigma Chi has raised over $2,000 this year.”

Everyone enjoyed the community and philanthropic aspects of Derby Days best. “I participate in Derby Days because it’s helping a fellow fraternity raise money for a great cause,” Haagen said. “I participate in Derby Days because it is a fun filled week which gives our Greek community a chance to take a step back and put our focus (and money) toward a great cause,” Seitz said.

“I look forward to derby days all year,” junior Jenny Murphy said. “The whole week is a ton of fun but most importantly, the event brings our Greek community together and raises money for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.”“I’d say my favorite part of derby days, and philanthropy events in general, is just coming together as a Greek community for one cause,” Miller said.