Competition for a worthy cause

Sigma Chi hosts annual philanthropic competition for Huntsman Cancer Foundation

Caroline Saltzman

Alpha Delta Pi claimed victory at this year’s Sigma Chi Derby Days competition.

Derby Days is a philanthropic competition held by Sigma Chi chapters across the country. The event began in 1933 at University of California, Berkeley. In 1992, Sigma Chi decided to turn the event into a charity event, donating to the Children’s Miracle Network.

In 2012, the fraternity chose to change the charity to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. The foundation funds research, education and treatment programs for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

At Washington & Lee’s Derby Days, Sigma Chi held a penny race, a banner competition, a dunk tank, field games and a flag football tournament to support the foundation.

The competition relies on the involvement of sorority women, but the whole community is encouraged to participate in its open activities.

This year’s participants included five sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi.

To kickoff the week-long event, Sigma Chi hosted a party on Monday night, featuring singer-songwriter Parker Bradway.

After Monday’s concert, the competition began. Derby Days is a points-based competition, and each event rewards different points.

Each sorority was able to earn points on campus throughout the week. Sigma Chi sold t-shirts and held a penny race in Commons. The more members of a sorority purchased t-shirts, the more points the sorority received.

For the penny race, each participating sorority was assigned a bucket to put pennies in. Other sorority or community members may participate, but if anything but pennies are placed in a bucket, points are deducted.

In addition, the Derby Challenge was an online donation competition that began on Monday morning and continued through Friday evening. No points were given for the event, but the proceedings went toward the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Wednesday started the outdoor competitions with field games at Sigma Chi’s house on the Maury River, known as Pole Three. First-year women went head-to-head in dizzy bat, greasy watermelon, egg-in-spoon race, water balloon toss, sack race and tug-of-war.

Each team also made banners to be displayed at Pole Three as a part of the banner competition.

After Wednesday’s outdoor competitions, Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Alpha Theta were tied for first place with 50 points each.

The first-year women returned to Pole Three Thursday afternoon to start the flag football tournament, which lasted for two days.

The spring weather brought a crowd of students and parents to watch the final day of competition on Friday afternoon. Alpha Delta Pi and Kappa Delta faced off in the final flag football game, with Alpha Delta Pi coming out victorious.

Katrina Lewis, ‘19, is a member of Alpha Delta Pi and regularly competed in the week’s competitions.

“Derby Days has been a great way to kick-off spring term, because the competitions bring everyone together and get you outside,” Lewis said.