TCU Daily Skiff Friday, April 23, 2004
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Greeks raise money and give time to good causes
More than $121,000 and 25,000 hours of community service were donated to charities by Greek organizations in 2003.

By Stacey Grant

Fraternity and sorority members may have to work extra hard this year if they hope to surpass the successes of 2003’s philanthropic events.

According to the directors of service for the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, more than $121,000 was donated to various charities through philanthropies in 2003.

Tiffany Abbott, director of fraternity and sorority affairs, said each fraternity and sorority is required to do philanthropies by its national chapter, but that is not the only motivation.

“Many students participate because it’s a chance to give service to a wonderful cause and have fun with their organization at the same time,” she said.

Spencer Blevens, IFC director of service, said TCU fraternities donated more than $44,000 to different charities last year.

Blevens, a sophomore advertising/public relations major, said Pi Kappa Phi raised the most money overall with about $12,500. Sigma Chi came in second with a total of $6,000, and Sigma Phi Epsilon raised $5,200 for the third highest.

Pi Kap President Charlie Stephan, a sophomore advertising/public relations major, said he thinks they were able to raise so much money because the members are very interested in service.

“We have members who join our fraternity specifically because they are so committed to service,” Stephan said. “It’s a big goal we have every year.”

Stephan said the amount of money raised is not a contest among chapters, but rather an opportunity to raise money for great causes.

“It’s all a matter of focus,” Stephan said. “If philanthropy is a big focus in your organization, then you’re going to raise more money for charity.”

Pi Kap’s main philanthropy is Push America, which helps people with physical and mental disabilities. The fraternity also donates money to the TCU KinderFrogs School, the preschool on campus for children with Down syndrome.

Blevens said philanthropies are a great way of giving back to the community.
“Philanthropy is one of the things Greek organizations were founded on, and we take pride in giving back to the community,” Blevens said.

Delta Gamma President Laura Elliott, a sophomore nursing major, said it’s important to participate in philanthropies because it shows people that there’s more to being Greek than just parties and social events.

“Philanthropies are what sororities were based off of in the beginning,” Elliott said. “We weren’t founded on parties, we were founded on service.”

Every fall, DG hosts Anchorsplash, an event where fraternities compete and raise money for charity, Elliott said. DG’s main philanthropy is Service for Sight, in which sorority members read stories to blind people on a weekly basis.

Elliott said what she loves about philanthropic service is the unity it provides to her sorority.

“I love how it unites all sororities,” Elliott said. “All Delta Gammas do Anchorsplash and Service for Sight. It gives us a common bond.”

In addition to the money donated in 2003, more than 25,000 hours of community service were completed by Greek organizations.

Emily Hollenbeck, Panhellenic director of service, said Greek sororities raised $77,300 for various charities and participated in more than 9,300 hours of community service.

Hollenbeck, a junior communication studies major, said Alpha Chi Omega raised the most money, which was used to help fight domestic violence. The sorority’s 2003 annual fashion show raised more than $21,000, which is slightly less than this year’s total of $25,000.

In 2003, TCU’s Greek organizations raised money and provided service for such causes in 2003 as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Children’s Miracle Network, Tarrant County Food Bank, Toys for Tots, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Big Brother of Fort Worth.
 
 
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