Greek life students raise funds for charity

By Aaron Salazar

Most college students pull at least one all-nighter to study for finals or finish a big project. But the Greek community at Cal Poly Pomona pulled an all-nighter in the Bronco Student Center to raise money and awareness for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The event, Up ’til Dawn, raised over $41,100.68 for the research hospital by hosting various fundraising opportunities featuring karaoke, video games, giant jenga and other board games.

Some organizations fundraised by sending letters out to businesses and various alumni from their fraternities and sororities.

In order for a student to be able to enter the door at the event, he or she must have met the requirements set by Greek Life.

“Check-in starts at 10 p.m. on Jan. 31 and then extends all the way until 6 a.m. on Feb. 1,” said John LeJay II, the interim Greek life and education coordinator at CPP.

Students are part of six-people teams for Up ’til Dawn.

“Each person on the team has to have at least $100 for themselves,” said LeJay. “Each team, bare minimum, has to raise $600.”

The students in the fraternities and sororities did their part by having over 350 students qualify to attend the event.

“Honestly, it was a great success,” said Scott Van Dagens, a fourth-year electronic business student who also serves as president for the Inter-Fraternity Council. “It was a really fun time. We raised almost $42,000 [for a] second year in a row that we have done that. I think that it’s a great experience for people to have, and I think that more people on campus should definitely get involved in it.”

Van Dagens is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity on campus. Sigma Chi raised roughly $1,800 for the Up ’til Dawn event.

“Really, this just shows our philanthropic side,” said Van Dagens. “Every single chapter on this campus has a philanthropy that we are tied to.”

Sigma Chi partners with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, which is a part of the same cancer research network that St. Jude’s is in.

Diane Ahn, a member of the Chi Omega sorority and a third-year psychology student, serves as the philanthropy chair for the Greek community.

“It just shows how the Greek community can get together at one event and just make such an impact on the community, not just in Cal Poly, but out side Cal Poly as well,” said Ahn. “It was really great seeing that how everyone came together. It was great to see that they put so much work into this and effort.”

However, an event like Up ’til Dawn does not come together over night. The community prepared months in advance.

We were able to go to Memphis for a St. Jude’s leadership conference in July,” said Ahn. “That’s when we really actually started. That really motivated us: seeing the patients, going to Memphis, [Tennessee] visiting the hospital, listening to the patients and their family speak, as well as executives from ALSAC St. Jude.”

CPP was fortunate enough to have a survivor named Andy Olvera and his family attend the Up ’til Dawn event. Andy, a cancer survivor from St. Jude’s, is 13 years old and plans on pursuing a future career in engineering.

The Greek Community also has several other fundraising events planned. Kappa Delta Shamrock Week is planned for Feb. 21-28, and Chi Omega has scheduled the Make A Wish Week for the first week of March. Phi Tau has Red and Gold Week coming up, with funds going towards the Painted Turtle Foundation. Lastly, Sigma Chi has Derby Days planned for early in spring quarter.

Greek students

Photo courtesy Office of Student Life and Cultural Centers

Greek students

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