Greek Gives Back: Greek philanthropy events in September

(Graphic by Catherine Eldridge | Collegian Media Group)

The philanthropy chairs of Greek life organizations said this month of fundraising is celebrated with trophies, cash rewards and bragging rights. Because members of Greek life are often stereotyped as party animals, it is important to recognize their exemplary accomplishments in giving back to the world, Landyn Luttrell, sophomore in business admin-preprofessional, said. To raise funds for their philanthropies, sororities and fraternities capture other students’ attention with fast-paced, competitive events held every year.

“When everyone comes together to serve something that means more to us, it gets our minds off ourselves and really elevates the comradery in the house,” Luttrell said. 

Pike Fireman Challenge 

Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity reeled in over 400 community service hours during the week of their fourth annual Fireman Challenge, Sean Hoffmans, sophomore in finance and external vice president, said. Members raised $15,000 for their philanthropy, Finn’s Friends, for muscular dystrophy through competitions. To raise the stakes, a point system based on the girls’ performance in the contests determines which sorority wins, Hoffmans said. The prize is a sum of money to pour into their own philanthropy and a trophy.

 “These events are really competitive,” Hoffmans said.  “And girls can be ruthless to earn that first-place trophy and the guys love the entertainment.”

Hoffmans said their field day included an obstacle course, cup pong, tug of war and a basketball tournament with an admission price. Hoffmans said first place and more than $3,000 was awarded to Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. They will use this money for their philanthropy, which supports breast cancer research and awareness.

Sigma Kappa Mud Bowl

The Sigma Kappa mud bowl, led by Shea Larson, junior in management and vice president of philanthropic service, is a mud volleyball tournament held every fall at Tuttle Creek. Larson said she observed participants enjoying friendly competition, music, catered Jimmy John’s and mud bowl tank tops while splattered with mud from head to toe. All proceeds from the events go to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

 “We encourage any student or community member to participate; these events are not exclusive to Greek life members,” Larson said. 

 Last year, Shea said the event only had 18 teams last year, and increased to 27 teams this year, though it was not uncommon to have 50 or more teams prior to 2020.

Delta Upsilon Hoopsilon

Kade Kaufman, junior in biology, said he oversaw the Delta Upsilon basketball tournament for the Global Service Initiative, where the fraternity had only 24 hours to raise as much money as possible. Kaufman said their philanthropy builds houses for underserved communities in Jamaica, and each summer members are sent over to assist in construction.

“The atmosphere is very lively,”  Kaufman said. “With a live announcer and music and some of the K-State basketball players even showing up to support the girls.” 

Kaufman said the group is looking forward to their trip to help families after raising around $5,000 between the tournament tickets and donation competitions.

War of Roses

War of Roses is a week-long event consisting of six back-to-back events that fundraise for multiple philanthropies Javier Cordero, senior in mass communications and philanthropy chair,  said.

Pi Kappa Phi’s priority philanthropy is the Ability Experience, which supports disabled or mentally compromised children, Cordero said.

 On Tuesday, fraternity members assembled a 16-hour bikeathon where members biked nonstop thirty-minute intervals from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cordero said. As they raced, people could pay to launch water balloons and dump water buckets on bikers. This event raised over $1,800. 

He said the middle of the week was a blur of events between Crumble Cookie contributions, volleyball tournaments and a rose board competition.

The weekend drew in more cash with a dunk tank carnival on Saturday, which included ice cream and puppies, Cordero said. He also said the event made over $600 and the money was donated to Purple Power Animal Society. 

Alpha Delta Pi won $800 towards their philanthropy for first place, Cordero said. An Alpha Delta Pi member was crowned this year’s Rose Queen and received a trophy, crown, free merchandise and off-road ATV services from a designated fraternity member anytime she pleases.

“We have developed a great connection with Alpha Delta Pi as a result of these fundraisers,” Cordero said.  “It has really boosted the success of our efforts to help all of our philanthropies.”

Car Wash Frenzie

Productions of shirtless fraternity members spraying soapy water on lines of vehicles could be seen along the streets of Manhattan all month long.

Sam Wright, freshman in kinesiology, said Phi Gamma Delta fraternity raised more than $500  for Big Lakes Developmental Center for children with special needs through their car wash. Luttrell said Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity donated over $1,300 to the Children’s Miracle Network after their car wash.