Gamma Chi Aims to Raise $50,000 During Derby Days October 21 – 25, 2019

The Gamma Chi chapter is holding their Derby Days the week of October 21 – 25, 2019, and they have a lofty goal this year to raise $50,000.

“Last year, we raised $43,500 for Children's Miracle Network, and we want to do even better this year!” said senior and Derby Days Chairman, Jack Colbert.

The Sigma Chi event known as Derby Days actually lasts for a full week and takes nearly a year to plan. It’s their biggest philanthropic event and happens at Sigma Chi chapters across the country to benefit Huntsman Cancer Foundation and other local charities as chosen by the chapters. Gamma Chi supports Children’s Miracle Network in Washington, D.C.

Derby Days is all about sororities competing at fun events to earn the most points. Events kick off with a banner design competition where each sorority decorates a banner based on a theme from Children’s Hospital. Often, it is a patient who gets to judge the banners and choose the winner.

The competition then moves to more physical events like obstacle courses, dodge ball, and even zorb soccer. Brothers step in to participate as team captains and sometimes even fellow competitors in events like the watermelon eating competition.

“Derby Days is an event where we get to interact with sororities that we might not otherwise see on a daily basis,” said Colbert. “The competition gets intense!”

Colbert says that nine sororities used to participate and this year there will be 14. He’s encouraged to see the event growing and campus involvement increasing.

To raise funds each brother is tasked with a personal goal of at least $200. They solicit corporate sponsorships and ask for help from alumni. In 2017 the chapter raised $38,000, and in 2018 that increased to $43,500.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we’d love to see alumni more involved,” said Colbert. “They can donate directly for this event easily through a Donor Drive LINK or on Venmo.”

The week culminates in a Derby Dinner held on the front lawn of the house where the winners are congratulated and celebrated. A representative from Children’s Hospital attends are alumni are also welcome.

Throughout the year Gamma Chi holds smaller fundraising events to support Derby Days. The Volley for the Kids in the Spring is one such event and a presence at the alumni golf tournament last May raised $455.

“We get to donate to a great cause and channel all of our energy as a chapter into this week-long event,” said Colbert. “Everyone contributes and the week is full of energy.”

Colbert said a lot of help also comes from alumni like Chris Kennedy and Dennis O'Connell who attend planning meetings and offer advice throughout the planning process.

“They act as sounding boards and help us make sure everything runs smoothly,” he said. “Their experience is an invaluable asset.”

Gamma Chi is active on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DerbyDaysUMD/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sigmachiumd/?hl=en. That’s the best place to find them and get more details on this year’s Derby Days agenda as it’s being finalized.

For more information contact Jack Colbert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-646-9105.

 

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