For their chief philanthropic event of the year, Sigma Chi teamed up with sororities starting Monday, Oct. 21 to raise nearly $1,000 for Safe Harbor with all the wizarding spirit of Harry Potter in the Goblet of the Derby.
With an event occurring every night at 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Sigma Chi’s annual Derby Days made the effort to organize sororities through various events in order to raise campus awareness and promote involvement with a specific philanthropic cause. This year, that cause was Safe Harbor, Galesburg’s domestic abuse shelter.
The week’s events were broad, ranging from a marshmallow competition to a fashion show and a trivia night, but all were organized around the magical theme because “everybody likes Harry Potter. It’s something that a lot of people can kind of rally around,” according to Derby Days Chair junior Jake Erikson.
The events of the day are meant to elicit interest, getting the campus to talk and show up to donate during tabling hours.
Erikson also explained that “the whole point of Derby Days is to basically raise as much awareness of the event as possible” in order to raise money for that year’s benefit.
“For every dollar limit that we reach, another pair of legs [will be] shaved from Sigma Chi,” he said. This year’s mark for top dollar was senior Joe Rodgers, with subjectively the hairiest legs.
While points could be gained all week by spotting the Sigma Chi brother wearing the golden armband (the Sigma Snitch) or by winning one of the evening events — as Delta Delta Delta did in the bake-off with their frosted cupcakes in a box shaped like a book — the competition culminated in Friday’s talent show.
The talent show, the week’s crowning event, began with Delta Delta Delta’s Harry Potter Improv, during which the beloved characters participated in an improv show hosted by Severus Snape and was followed by a rendition of Potter Puppet Pals by Kappa Kappa Gamma, a wizardly rap by Pi Beta Phi and an interpretive musical reenactment of the book series by Alpha Sigma Alpha.
Concluding the event, the winners were announced, with Alpha Sigma Alpha taking away their first prize as Derby Day champions at 445 points, closely followed by Kappa Kappa Gamma at 435.
Senior and Sigma Chi sweetheart Ruth Amerman, who helped plan the event appreciated how Derby Days helps to bring “all four sororities together in a very friendly competition and then it raises money for a good cause” but also noted that “there’s not necessarily great communication” about what is going on in Greek life between those involved and the rest of the Knox community.
Sophomore Flori Corpodean however, one of 15 or so audience members unaffiliated with Greek life was excited about the talent show and the Harry Potter theme.
“I [also] knew a lot of people who were participating so I thought it would be a good chance to go check it out this year,” she said.
Though the events are primarily attended by sorority members, Erikson was hopeful about the event’s ability to raise awareness.
“We already have a pretty solid relationship with folks on campus, it’s more about just spreading awareness of Greek organizations and what we do and Derby Days is a great example of that,” Erikson said.