Sigma Chi puts on 'Derby Days,' raises money for scholarship

By Lindsey Blakely
On April 10, 2012

Sigma Chi hosted its annual Derby Days competition last week, raising an estimated $5,350.

At least $4,500 of that will go to the Jonathan Barfield Memorial Scholarship, which is going to 29-year-old Leslie Harris and her son Sam.

Harris was diagnosed with Leukemia just five hours before her son was born on Sept. 21, 2011.

Hunter Petrus was in charge of Derby Days this year, and says the donation hits close to home.

She was a friend and family member to a lot of our alumni, Petrus said. Our scholarship is also named after a brother who died from Leukemia two years ago, when he was an active member.

Petrus said they wanted to remember Garfield through the scholarship fund, and also give Harris a chance to fund her childs college education in the future.

The rest of the money will go to the Childrens Miracle Network and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

While many Greeks on campus are excited about giving money to Harris, the sororities were also stoked to compete this year.

The theme for Derby Days this year was Saturday Night Live at the Derby.

I started planning in November, only doing some mild planning, Petrus said. But it really got into gear in late January.

The week of events started on April 2 where Petrus had the sororities look for derbies and figure out the brother of the day.

At 8 a.m. on that Monday, Petrus posted on the Facebook group a list of clues to help the sororities find the derbies. The derbies were different colored hats that were hidden on campus for sorority members to find.

At 9 a.m., Petrus posted a clue for the brother of the day, which could be any member or alumni of Sigma Chi.

In the evenings, there were more events where the sororities could attempt to earn the number one spot.

On Monday evening was the date auction where pledges and members were able to strut their stuff for a bid.

The guys had a lot of fun, Petrus said. Now they have to take the girl who bought them on a date within the next month to thank them for everything they did for us.

On Tuesday night was the skit competition, which was also SNL-themed.

Everyones was absolutely hilarious, Petrus said.

On Wednesday, the Sigma Chis had a steak cookout, where they sold boxes for $10 each. The boxes included a steak, salad, baked potato and drink. The fraternity cooked over 300 steaks, which meant that the most money raised came from that night.

On Thursday were the relay races and eating contest where each sorority put up one girl and a team to compete.

Sierra Burris, a senior chemistry major of Piggott, is a Delta Zeta and said she loved Derby Days.

Derby Days was a lot of fun. I loved getting together with my sisters for a good cause, Burris said. I love the men of Sigma Chi too. It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with them and get to know more of them.

Burris said her favorite part of the week was spending more time with her sisters.

We tried our best to raise money for a good cause, Burris said. Derby Days is always one of my favorite spring events. Its always fun to have a little playful competition between the sororities. Especially when were joining together for a great philanthropy.

In the end, Alpha Gamma Delta won, with Delta Zeta coming in second, Chi Omega in third and Alpha Omicron Pi in fourth.

It was a great event that the sororities and our brothers look forward to every year, Petrus said. Our goal was $4,000 and we exceeded that. Im excited to give the money to them.

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