University of Richmond sororities competed in various events last week as they helped the Sigma Chi Epsilon Rho fraternity chapter raise $9,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation in its annual Derby Days fundraiser.

The Sigma Chi brothers encouraged the on-campus sororities to compete against each other in a t-shirt sale, penny war, dunk tank, “dancing with the fraternity stars” event, raffle and powder-puff football game. The winner of each event was chosen based on the amount of money raised and points earned in each event. The women of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority won the week.

Every year, the fraternity hosts the campus-wide week of philanthropy in order to benefit the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, a non-profit charity that works to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sigma Chi vice president Johnny McNitt encouraged students to get involved in the week’s events to support the institute. “Through annual donations, they are able to conduct groundbreaking research that we believe can make a tangible difference in the ongoing fight against cancer," McNitt said. "We encourage anyone and everyone to participate in the week.”

At the University of Richmond, the Derby Days events began on Monday with a “penny war” competition in the Tyler Haynes Commons. Sig Chi brothers encouraged sorority members to help their own sorority and "sabotage" others during Penny Wars on their Facebook page. 

The Derby Days challenge is a nationally run campaign that connects Sig Chi chapters across the nation. The chapter that raises the most money is announced annually at the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop. And although the University of Richmond chapter has never won the challenge, McNitt said that was a goal the chapter was striving toward.

According to Richmond Sig Chi’s Facebook page for the event, the weeklong fundraiser began Monday, March 21, and ended with a themed lodge on Saturday, March 26.

For McNitt, the Derby Days fundraiser provides a chance for the Richmond campus to make a difference.

“I care about Sigma Chi Derby Days because it is a cause that has directly affected my life and the lives of many of my peers," McNitt said. "To have the chance to host enjoyable events while donating to such a worthy cause truly makes Derby Days a special event.”

Contact news writer Claire Comey at claire.comey@richmond.edu