You know warmer weather is upon us as Derby Days approaches, wherein you can see gentlemen of the local Sigma Chi chapter raising money for their philanthropy through a series of fun and interactive events; my personal favorite being the running of the derbies. Watching members of Sigma Chi strategically make their way from campus and back to the safety of their house, whilst being chased - stalked if you will - by members of participating organizations/ independent teams in attempt to get their derby will never get old.
For those of you unfamiliar with the long standing tradition, Sigma Chi Derby Days descends from the Alpha Beta chapter at the University of California - Berkeley, dating back to the Spring of 1933. It was originally called “Channing Way Derby” as their philanthropy event, which was a series of humorous skits, took place in Channing Way. UC Berkeley Sigma Chi’s event evolved as the Beta Sigma chapter at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville adopted the idea two years later, but decided to plan the event around an all-day track and field competition between nine sorority pledge classes instead of a series of skits. This event on November 1st in 1935 attracted a crowd of more than 1,000 people to witness what more closely resembles the Derby Days that we know and love today, which utilizes the participation campus sororities to raise money for their national philanthropy.
As a mentioned previously, all funds raised during Sigma Chi Derby Days goes to their national philanthropies, which is the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network, as well as local philanthropies specific to the chapter location. Sigma Chi Fraternity collectively raises over $100,000 for cancer research annually and the Theta Eta Sigma Chi chapter at S&T managed to raise about $5,000-$6,000 last year. Brandon Bollinger, a member of Sigma Chi, expressed that they hope to raise $10,000 this year through the various events they have planned throughout their weeklong competition from Friday, April 6th to Friday, April 13th. The Theta Eta chapter believes that fundraising is best promoted through fun, friendly competition between houses and campus organizations, all of which is evident in their strategic event planning. Besides raising money through team participation in events like Penny Wars and Pie a Sigma Chi, Sigma Chi relies on donations from individuals and local businesses, ticket sales from the Gala and BBQ, the silent auction, and sales from their merchandise (t-shirts and koozies). The markup for t-shirts has closed;however, the markup for koozies is still open and available at your respective Greek House and the participating non-Greek organizations/teams. Below is a brief schedule and description of the various events that you can attend and show your support for their cause and see teams compete to earn points in the hopes of winning Derby Days.
Derby Cans : Teams can turn in non-perishable food items and aluminum cans for points. The non-perishable food items will be donated to Rolla food shelters and soup kitchens/churches. The aluminum cans will be collected and traded for money that will be donated to their philanthropic cause.
Social Media Hashtag: Teams can earn points by posting a picture on social media platforms with a member of Sigma Chi using #SpookyDerbyDays.
Friday, April 6th: Derby Days Opening Gala from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Event Center on Highway 72. Tickets are on sale for $5 preorder by markup or $7 at the door and points will be given for 20% attendance The Gala markup is still open and available at your respective Greek House and the participating non-Greek organizations/teams.
Monday, April 9th:
Pie a Sigma Chi: 2:00 - 4:00 PM at the Sigma Chi Fraternity House. Each team will be able to pelt Sigma Chis in the face for money to earn points towards your organization.
Banners are due at midnight: Each team turns in a painted banner created with the theme of Derby Days or Sigma Chi in mind to be judged and then awarded the respective point value.
Tuesday, April 10th: Amazing Race from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Lower Puck. Each team will compete in a race, similar to the “Amazing Race” to earn their respective team points.
Wednesday, April 11th:
Penny Wars: 8 AM - 5 PM at the Sigma Chi House. Penny Wars buckets will be placed in the basement all day to collect spare change - any silver coin is considered a negative value, and pennies are positive points.
Spooky Trivia: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM at the Sigma Chi House. Test your knowledge at “spooky” trivia. Each team will get points for participation and the top teams will receive larger point values for winning.
Pennies for Pushups: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at the Sigma Chi House. There will be two sessions for Pennies for Pushups for your most athletic team member see how many pushups they can do.
Fraternity Sports: 5:00 PM - 7:00 pm in the Havener Center Lounge. Sponsoring fraternities will face off in a tournament and earn points towards their organization’s running total.
Coolers due at midnight: Organizations will be judged on their cooler designs and given points accordingly.
Thursday, April 12th:
Sign a Sig (All Day): Sigma Chi members will be at various campus locations wearing white shirts to participating teams and their members to sign with your name and organization’s letters or team name. Each signature will help you earn points. You can only sign each shirt once.
Talent Show/Fashion Show: 6:00 PM at BCH 125. Come and present your best talents and fashion skills to the brothers of Sigma Chi. The best teams will be awarded points towards their running Derby Days total.
Silent Auction: 6:00 PM at BCH 125. The silent auction will take place during the talent and fashion show to sell off the donated coolers and other items. This will NOT contribute towards the point total.
Friday, April 13th:
Running of the Derbies: 4:00 PM at the Sigma Chi House. This will be the final event to get a earn large amount of points for your teams. All of the members of Sigma Chi will be dispersed on campus with their derbies. They must attempt to make it back to the house without getting their derby captured by participating teams.
Derby Days BBQ: 5:00 PM at the Sigma Chi House. To end the weeklong competition, Sigma Chi will be having their annual BBQ.
The brothers of Sigma Chi would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to you all for your participation and efforts towards Derby Days, whether that be as a team or individually, as without your support and eagerness to participate and contribute to a good cause, Derby Days would cease to exist.