By Carla Pineda
Derby Days, a philanthropic project organized by fraternity
Sigma Chi to engage sororities in a series of challenges to raise
money for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, raised $4,476 this
The four sororities involved were Kappa Delta, Chi Omega, Sigma
Kappa and Zeta Tau Alpha.
Although there is no ultimate winner of the challenges, Chi
Omega raised the most money, Zeta Tau Alpha had the most points and
Kappa Delta was the one that participated the most.
Sigma Chi is divided into four teams to coach each sorority
throughout the weeklong competition.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation is typically the recipient the money
collected at this event. The 2005 Derby Days contributed $3500 to
However, the goal of this year was changed when organizer,
Justin Leewood, a fifth-year finance student, met Jon Huntsman at a
After meeting the founder of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, and
graduate of Sigma Chi, the planners of this event, or Derby
Daddies, decided to aid this organization.
The activities included a mural painted by each sorority and a
dodge ball tournament. A profit share with Islands alone yielded
$470. More than 100 people arrived to support Derby Days and the
restaurant gave 20 percent of the profits to Sigma Chi.
Penny Wars is a coin collecting competition in which each
sorority is given an empty 5-gallon water bottle. For each copper
coin the sorority drops in, they receive one point; for each dollar
bill, they receive double points but for each silver coin, they
receive negative points. The negative points give other sororities
the chance to sabotage their opposing teams and make the
competition more exciting.
The highlight of the week was at the end of the competition
because there is a lip synch competition. The four sororities
prepare a number that usually involves their Sigma Chi coaches.
This year’s winning performance, featuring the male coaches in mini
skirts and midriff shirts was a mockery of Britney Spears’ career.
Complete with a bald version of Spears, impersonated by Thomas
Arias, the dance performance was the crowd’s favorite.
Although member chapters of the Diversified Greek Council and
the National Pan-Hellenic Council are invited, the only four
national sororities that participate are the members of the
National Panhellenic Conference.
The Derby Daddies wanted to keep the participant’s attention
focused on the goal of the event.
Leewood repeated what he said to the audience at the lip synch
competition, “Just to make sure you guys understand what this is
really for, I want everybody who has known anybody – a mom, a dad,
a grandparent – who has had cancer, to stand up.
“Everybody in the room stood up,” said Leewood.
He told everybody that one out of every two men and one out
every three women will get cancer in their life and urged everybody
to consider how many men and women were in the room and how they
were all susceptible to this illness.
“You want to have fun so people come out but at the same time
you want to make them understand the relevance of (cancer),” said
“There are so many people that assume what Greek life is but
this shows that when we all came together and worked for a cause,
we raised this much money,” said Leewood. “Don’t necessarily
believe the stereotypes you hear from and see in movies.”
Carla Pineda can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or
by phone (909) 869-3744.
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