Philanthropy hits home for Greeks
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 01:02
Southern Miss students will be busy this weekend raising money for their philanthropies, but the events are more than just another fundraiser to the Greeks who are hosting them.
On Saturday, Delta Tau Delta will host their 23rd annual philanthropy event at the Payne Center, including a Great Strides Walk and Children’s Sports Challenge. The money raised will support cystic fibrosis research, a cause that directly impacts their chapter on campus.
“Our first chapter president, Stephen Richards, has the disease and is one of the oldest living people with it,” said Hunter Nichols, a senior sport coaching major and member of Delta Tau Delta. “He is still very involved in our chapter and is like a father to us.”
Current chapter president Tyler Albin said raising money that helps one of his brothers means a lot to the fraternity.
“Thirty years ago, the life expectancy of someone with cystic fibrosis was only 19 years old,” Albin said. “Steve just celebrated his 49th birthday last week, which is a statement of how far research regarding cystic fibrosis has come.”
Albin said the Saturday event will include a Great Strides Walk that is open to everyone and a Children’s Sports Challenge featuring three-legged sack races, bowling, kickball and other games for kids.
Albin said Delta Tau Delta has raised more than $370,000 for cystic fibrosis research since they started hosting the event. Last year, they raised about $40,000.
At the Intramural Fields, Delta Delta Delta sorority will be hosting their annual Triple Play event, a softball competition to raise money for their national philanthropy, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Since I have gotten to visit St. Jude firsthand and see the children our philanthropy helps, I am able to appreciate this event even more,” said Haley Hollomon, a junior elementary education major. “I am so appreciative to be a member of a sorority that is so passionate about our philanthropy.”
The members of Tri Delta made a trip to St. Jude in Memphis in November 2011, getting to see just how their hard work was paying off for patients in the hospital.
“The children at St. Jude deserve so much, and the fact that we can help, even just a little bit, means the world to me,” said junior marketing major Rebekah Segraves.
Besides the softball competition, Triple Play also features a cheer competition among sororities that took place Wednesday night in the Payne Center.
“I really love that we do Triple Play to support our philanthropy because I feel like it’s an event the whole campus can participate in,” Segraves said. “It’s a fun, upbeat event that brings in money for a great cause.”
After finishing up a day of athletics at Sports Challenge and Triple Play, Greeks will head down to The Venue in downtown Hattiesburg for a charity banquet, Pi Kappa Alpha’s annual drawdown.
The event raises money for Give the Kids the World Foundation, which focuses on providing children with terminal illnesses a seven-day getaway to Disney World. Pike philanthropy chairman Mo Ismail, a junior psychology major, said the fraternity has a goal of raising $5,000 at the event.
The event, which will feature a live jazz band, will have all-you-can-eat food provided by Crescent City Grill and unlimited alcohol from Keg and Barrel. Tickets are $100 and can be split four ways for $25 each. Contact any Pike for ticket information. The grand prize at the drawdown will be $5,000, and random draws for cash prizes will take place throughout the evening.
“It allows our fraternity’s current members and alumni members, as well as the Greek Life and Hattiesburg community, to come together under one roof in unity to provide a child in need with an experience that will be their moment for life,” Ismail said. “To know that we as an overall community were able to make such a contribution and have such an impact on this child’s life holds greater value over any grand prize.”
Ismail said that though the event will be a good time for anyone who comes out, it’s important to remember the reason for the fundraiser.
“When I learn that something like a trip to an amusement park may be the highlight and peak of experience for a child’s entire life, that makes me put things into perspective,” Ismail said. “In turn, I feel obligated to take the ability and resources I have and help these children come to the realization that they are powerful and they are indeed fighters throughout it all.”