HC: What is Derby Days? What organizations does it support?
Derby Days is a week long philanthropy event that builds community rapport and camaraderie. Teams of female participants from different organizations compete in various competitive and fundraising efforts to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the national philanthropy of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. This year, Sigma Chi raised over $12,000 through Derby Days. This brings our total to nearly $40,000 for Derby Days in just our 5 years of existence at Bryant.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute: The Huntsman Cancer Institute was started by Sigma Chi brother, Jon M. Huntsman, who has donated over $400 million to build the HCI and to other cancer related initiatives. HCI has discovered more gene mutations that are responsible for inherited cancer than other place in the world, making a world leader in cancer research. HCI takes all types of cancer patients but last year, Jon Huntsman pledged $105 million for a Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research center, expanding their campus. With organizations and individuals like us, donating to HCI, where does it all go? Jon Huntsman covers all overhead costs every year meaning 100% of all donations to the HCI go directly to cancer research and patient care.
In addition, to supporting the Huntsman Cancer Institute from Derby Days, a portion of what we raise, the winning teams of Derby Days get a portion of what we raise to the philanthropies of their choice!
HC: How else does Sigma Chi support cancer research?
Sigma Chi has and will continue to support childhood cancer causes. In the past, we have raised funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Most recently, we have taken the childhood cancer cause by storm on campus. Last year, we were asked to headline the St. Baldrick’s head shaving event here at Bryant and the invitation was extended again this year. Although we were fairly new to the cause, we did not hold back in our capabilities to make a difference in both raising awareness and funds for St. Baldrick’s. In our first year in headlining the event in 2014, we raised over $3,500, and this year we broke that in raising over $4,300 for St. Baldrick’s. This totals over $7,800 in 2 years for the cause. You can see a recap of our efforts in the videos below:
HC: What events do students participate in during the week?
There are 2 leagues to Derby Days: Gold League (more competitive) and Blue League (less competitive). Teams consists of 5-7 participants in addition to brother team captains to help them throughout the week. This year we had 16 total teams and 94 female participants.
Here is a breakdown of the events for each day as well as some on-going events that occur every day:
Monday 4/6: Snap-A-Sig
Objective: To find as many brothers as possible and take a picture with them. Through this, they get to meet several if not all 56 brothers so that they can build a relationship early in Derby Days to help each other out throughout the week. Teams pose the question “Why do you Derby?” to each brother that they take a picture so that they learn everyone’s motivation for the cause.
Tuesday 4/7: Derby Decoration
Objective: Each team was given a window in the FSC to decorate which stayed up for the entire week. The community then voted for the best windows. We received over 600 total votes for this competition.
Wednesday 4/8: The Triple Crown (Field Events)
Objective: The teams competed in a 3 round competition for points. Round 1 was a limbo contest between the female participants. Round 2 was an arm wrestling tournament for the brother team captains. Round 3 was a minute-to-win-it style game (called Hut, Hut, Hike) for both the female participants and the brother team captains where teams had to hike the most toilet paper through a ring in a minute.
Thursday 4/9: Sign-A-Sig/The 99 Fundraiser
Objective: Sign-A-Sig objective: Similar to Snap-A-Sig, teams had to find as many brothers as possible and sign their white T-shirt.
The 99 Fundraiser: Teams, brothers, and all of our friends went over to The 99 Restaurant in North Attleboro to enjoy a relaxing night and dinner. The 99 had trivia that night which the winning team of trivia received Red Sox tickets. 15% of everyone’s checks went to Derby Days.
Friday 4/10: End of Coin Wars
Objective: This was the last day of coin wars (explained below).
Saturday 4/11: The Derby Pageant
Objective: Teams competed in the final event of Derby Days, the Derby Pageant. This was a 2 round fashion show and 1 round talent show. The first round, the female participants walked the runaway in their best derby outfit. The second round, the female participants crossed dress their team captain in the best female formal wear to walk the runaway. The final round was an open format talent show where teams showed off different abilities through videos, live performances, lip syncs, skits, and more! Our judges critiqued each round in awarding the best performing teams. Throughout the event, we raffled over $1,000 in giveaways to the teams, brothers, and friends.
Online Donations – Teams competed to raise the most money online via their own team page by reaching out to friends, family, faultily, staff, alumni, etc.
Coin Wars – Each team had their own coin jar to decorate and received positive points for coins and negative points for bills.
HC: What other causes are dear to Sigma Chi?
Our Sigma Chi chapter has developed relationships with several on and off campus organizations to benefit several causes. In the fall, we hold an annual Kans for Kanjam tournament where teams of 2 compete in a kanjam tournament. Team registration is done through a monetary donation or canned goods donations. All proceeds go to a local Smithfield foodbank so that families in need can enjoy a home cooked meal during the Thanksgiving season. In addition to the causes I previously mentioned, we have been involved with the Matty Fund, Gotta Have Sole, We R Group Hug, Angels on Horseback, Relay for Life, Up ‘Till Dawn, and local park clean ups just to name a few. To be honest, Sigma Chi does not limit itself of what it can and cannot do. We continuously look for ways to get involved in and out of Bryant to benefit the community.
Our answers covered a lot and definitely show what we do. However, it is really important to grasp why we do these things above all. Derby Days really represents the why. Specifically to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, cancer, in some way, has touched everyone. Men have a 1 in 2 risk and women have a 1 in 3 risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. One day, everything may seem normal but then in the next moments, your life can be turned upside down with the words “You have cancer.” We do this for each other, for those who have come before us, for those who come after us, and for those who may never come.
Each member of Sigma Chi acknowledges and accepts personal responsibilities to his family, to the communities in which he lives and participates and to those who are less-fortunate. The teachings of the Fraternity constantly advocate the importance of performing selfless acts. In one way or another, everyone at Bryant has been granted many opportunities not presented to those who are less fortunate.
To be a true Sigma Chi is to be part of something bigger than yourself, to be someone who holds themself to a higher standard, and among many other traits, someone who exerts passion toward achieving any goals they may set forth for themself. We hope to inspire others to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Don’t just take these statements just from us though! We asked several of Bryant’s female population to share their opinions of Sigma Chi here at Bryant. Heres their responses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtKhyRL9EJI