Rutgers is For The Kids

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by: Nicole Marinelli

Rutgers Sigma Chi Fraternity raised over $200,000 during their 25th annual Derby Days at the beginning of November.

Derby Days is Sigma Chi’s annual, weeklong philanthropy event, which raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (CMNH).  Sigma Chi chapters all around the country host their own unique version this event, but Rutgers University is home to the largest Derby Days.

During the 2014 Derby Days the brothers broke an international record by raising $173, 268.  This was the most money raised by a single student-run Greek philanthropy event.  This year the fraternity shattered that record by raising a total of $220,400.

The total amount of money raised would not have been possible without the help of Rutgers seven social sororities, including: Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.

The sororities teamed up with Sigma Chi to help raise money for kids with cancer, blood disorders and other chronic diseases.  Money was raised through a variety of ways such as merchandise sales, “canning” for donations, admission to events, bake sales, and online donations.

This year the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha raised $42,798, the most amount of money raised by a single team in Derby Days history.

“It makes me really happy to know that all this money goes to these children in need,” ZTA sister Meranda Mayer said. “The more money we raise, the more help they get, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Mayer said she participates in Derby Days because she wanted to be a part of something larger than herself.  Derby Days lets her focus her time and effort on an issue that is important to her.

Throughout the week of Nov. 1 each sorority competed against one another for points in different events.

Almost every Sigma Chi brother was assigned to one of the seven sororities to help them compete in the following events: fundraising, field events, a photo challenge, a date auction, Minute-to-Win It Challenges, banner competition, and the lip sync.

The Lip Sync is considered the main Derby Days event.  For two months the sororities worked with their assigned brothers to create a unique 10-minute long dance routine.

Sister of Delta Gamma Harley Schwing said the lip sync is her favorite event to participate in because “everyone gets to show off all the hard work they’ve put in these past two months.”

Schwing said she enjoys performing, as well as watching the other sorority’s routines as well.  Seeing the entire Greek community come together and raise money for a great cause is exciting, she said.

The 2015 Derby Days events have concluded and the official Rutgers Derby Days Twitter account, @RUDerbyDays, thanked everyone for their support for during their 25th anniversary, and making it a “memorable Derby season”.

Next year the brothers of Sigma Chi plan to raise the Derby Days bar even higher as they hope to raise a grand total of $300,000 for the CMNH.

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