Sigma Chi Derby Days benefits cancer research through competition, games

In 2018, Sigma Chi kicked off Derby Days with their Derby Doggies event. This year, Derby Doggies is rescheduled to Nov. 1st. Lariat File Photo

By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer

This week, Sigma Chi is hosting their annual Derby Days event, which began Tuesday and ends Thursday. In December 2012, Sigma Chi designated the Huntsman Cancer Foundation as their main philanthropic organization, and members have since worked to raise money and donations for the cause.

Through a week of donations made from members of the organization, as well as other Panhellenic members involved in campus Greek life, the money raised is donated towards the HCF Institute for Cancer Research.

Kansas City, Kan., junior Daniel Foulon, a member of Sigma Chi, said he believes that Derby Days brings a positive outlook on a disease that affects many.

“Derby Days is a great way to get people’s attention,” Foulon said. “My family personally has not been affected by cancer, but this week gives me a time to think about what I could really give back to people who don’t have the privileges we do.”

Portland, Ore., junior Drew Martinez has had a family member pass away from cancer and said he loves the support that Derby Days attracts.

“My grandpa died of cancer before I was born, and there have been a numerous amount of close family friends in my life who have battled cancer,” Martinez said. “It was really special last summer because I got to stop by the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah and was able see where our money goes and the difference we are making, which has truly been inspiring.”

There are various ways donations can be made throughout the week. Along with fundraising, sororities participating in Derby Days can earn points to win a Derby Days championship title and prizes of their own.

“All sororities get together and form teams to compete in games throughout the week,” Foulon said.

Points are given out to the winning teams. The first place team receives ten points, and the fifth place team earns two. At any point during the week, those involved can earn other points by donating to the cause, liking Sigma Chi Derby Days posts on Instagram, purchasing T-shirts and buying concert tickets.

Another competition is the banner event— each sorority submits a banner that they designed and painted relating to Derby Days. The point system matches that for the sports games, with the amount of points for first place being 10.

Winners of the week are recognized in several ways: the winning teams for flag football, sand volleyball and dodgeball receive a T-shirt, a trophy and can choose between prizes like a one-month membership to Rush Cycle or a 30-minute massage at Hand and Stone Waco.

The champion team of Derby Days receives a $2,000 donation toward their own philanthropy, as well as a paid mixer with Sigma Chi and two chapter meetings with catered Andy’s Frozen Custard and Tiff’s Treats.

Along with all the fun and prizes, Martinez said that Derby Days is an event meant to bring awareness to the public.

“I think it’s really easy to say that we as a chapter hope to raise as much money as possible, but at the end of the day, I think the goal is that every one of us has to raise awareness for this amazing foundation,” Martinez said. “It’s important to support and remind families struggling with someone having cancer that we are there for them and that they are not alone in all of this.”