Sigma Chi presents Derby Days this weekend

Max Stendahl

Can throwing a pie in the face of a fellow Villanova student be a good thing?

The answer is yes, at least for this coming week, when the Sigma Chi Fraternity will host the first annual Derby Day events to raise funds for cancer research.

Starting this Sunday and lasting until next Thursday, the brothers of Sigma Chi will sponsor fundraising events like Pie-A-Sig, in which donating students can toss a pie into the face of their favorite Sigma Chi.

The events, which also include penny wars, barbeques, raffles and a shirt signing competition among sororities, will take place at different locations on campus throughout the week.

Kurt Kolakauskas, Sigma Chi president, said he is confident the events will not only raise the desired goal of $6,000 in week-long contributions, but also inspire an altruistic atmosphere.

“Through this initiative of Derby Days, we hope to revolutionize the way the Greek community participates in philanthropy events,” he said. “We have taken it to a new level and we hope to inspire other chapters, both men and women, that there is a better way to raise money for charity that is both fun and successful.”

The main objective of the Derby Days is to benefit the Huntsman Cancer Institute, an international leader in cancer research.

Jon Huntsman Sr., a Sigma Chi from the University of Pennsylvania chapter, started the institute in 1995 and has since contributed, with the help of family members, over $265 million to the cause.

“The mission of HCI is to provide hope for those who suffer with cancer and provide a cure for those victims of tomorrow,” said Kolakauskas. “HCI is unique in that it has adopted a business model and combined that with innovative methods of medical research and technology.”

Ryan Bendinelli, the campus publicity chair for Sigma Chi, is encouraging all members of the Villanova community to participate in the events and donate as much as possible.

“The events will be taking place right in the middle of the Oreo, so come cheer on your friends, pie a few guys and throw some coinage in the buckets to help your favorite team,” Bendinelli said.

The hosting of Derby Days will help to carry on a tradition at Sigma Chi chapters around the country that has lasted over 75 years. The Villanova chapter seeks to continue that tradition in the coming years as well.

“We really hope this event will turn into one of the premier annual events at Villanova,” Bendinelli said.

Derby Days is the most recent addition to an already impressive résumé for Sigma Chi.

“In the past, Sigma Chi has supported University sponsored philanthropy efforts, such as Balloon Day and Special Olympics,” said Kolakauskas. “We have also raised funds for the Children’s Miracle Network and the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”

Other events during the week will include a volleyball tournament, banner decorating and knock-out games on the Sullivan courts.

“We are going to be doing sidewalk chalk and posters throughout the upcoming two weeks to get information out to students,” said Bendinelli. “Events will be posted in the Wildcat Newswire and all information will be posted in an upcoming Facebook group to provide a resource for information for all participants.”