Tulane University’s Sigma Chi fraternity completed their annual week-long fundraising event, Derby Days, on Saturday. The chapter raised roughly $78,000 throughout the week for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the chapters sole beneficiary, beating last years total of $53,000 which landed them the spot of the third greatest total among all chapters. This year’s rankings have not been released yet.
Sigma Chi chapters across the country have competed in the Derby Days fundraising event since 1933, and the Tulane chapter began participating in the event in 1951. Since then, the fundraising efforts have transformed into a week of activities, games and involvement of the entire greek community. This year’s fundraising efforts were in memory of brother Grayson McCall’s father who passed away earlier this school year from cancer and had been treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
“Involvement of both brothers in our own chapter and the sorority women at Tulane have grown exponentially in the last three years and played an integral role in our success,” the brothers of Sigma Chi said.
A few Sigma Chi brothers were assigned to each sorority to involve all sorority women and help with the fundraising efforts. Derby Days kicked off with a day at the Fair Grounds race track and continued with a field day, a sign-a-chi event, a petting zoo and more, with every sorority competing against each other to raise the most money throughout the week. While the members of the greek community are the main participants in the events, the chapter hopes to expand the involvement.
“This year, we did a much better job at involving more members of the tulane community outside of Panhel/IFC Greek life. Delta Sigma Pi, one of the premier business fraternities on campus, was one of the largest contributors this year,” the brothers of Sigma Chi said. “Hopefully in the future, we can continue to expand Derby Days to involve all members of the Tulane community.”
In 2015, the chapter made a pledge to donate $11 million to the Huntsman Cancer Institute over the next few years and are currently $6 million into the pledge. They hope to raise $2 million cumulatively by the end of this year, the brothers said.
The fundraising efforts of Sigma Chi have inspired other Tulane fraternities to boost their fundraising for their philanthropies.
“[Sigma Chi] goes above and beyond the call of duty that’s required for what philanthropy at a fraternity level should be, and it’s great for their single fraternity along with being great for the rest of the fraternities and just greek community,” President of Zeta Psi fraternity Ross Berlin said. “Last year when I was in charge of running my fraternities philanthropy, it was definitely something that I was like ‘Wow look at what Sigma Chi does. How can we even get close to that?’”