Greek fundraising strives throughout community

Spring has sprung and fundraising season seems to be in full swing for Greek groups on campus. Augustana’s sororities and fraternities host fundraisers throughout the entire school year; however, Spring seems to be a popular time for most events.
Katey Bignall, Director of Greek Life, pushes all of Augustana’s Greek groups to strive to understand the importance of giving back.
“I think there are many reasons why philanthropy is important to the Greek community. It is good for the students to think about how they can help others and then organize a fundraiser to help accomplish that goal,” Bignall said. “It is also good for students to learn that they can make an impact when it comes to tough situations. My hope is that through this process students are learning skills and values that they can take with them into their life after Augie.”
Some fundraisers are one-time occurrences; however, many are annual traditions on Augustana’s campus. According to Bignall, the fundraisers that have been annual events include, but are not limited to: St. Baldrick’s (Rho Nu Delta), Buckets for Benefits (Delta Chi Theta, Phi Omega Phi), Augie’s Top Voice (Sigma Kappa Tau), Mr. Augustana (Chi Alpha Pi), Cross the Line (Beta Omega Sigma), Big Pink Volleyball (Delta Omega Nu), and Carving for Kids (Gamma Alpha Beta).​
Omicron Sigma Omicron (OZO) President, Roberto Sanchez discussed the annual spring fundraiser “Pigma”, which will be held April 30, 2016. The event is at Kavanaugh’s Hilltop and will feature food, games, and music.
This fundraiser raises money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation,” Sanchez said. “The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is very important to us because they fund research into cures and treatments for individuals with spinal cord injuries/paralysis and in the past one of our brothers suffered such an injury, so this event is in his name.”
The OZO’s also held their first  “OZO Car Smash” this past fall, which donated proceeds to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
I believe it is important for the Greek community to hold fundraisers because it gives us all a chance to give back and do something good for others,” Sanchez said. “Also, it is important for us to volunteer because we are representatives of Augustana College and doing this kind of service work helps establish us as responsible, caring, and well educated students.”
Another fraternity, Rho Nu Delta (Roundels), hosts a popular annual fundraiser: St. Baldrick’s.
“St. Baldrick’s was initially brought to Augustana by the Roundels because one of our previous members was a survivor of childhood cancer and we continue the tradition because it’s an amazing cause and everyone has been affected by cancer at one point in their lives in some way, shape, or form.”
Small also discussed the importance of fundraising within the Greek community.
“I feel like it is important for the Greek community to host fundraisers because we are such a big part of the Augustana community and with that comes the responsibility for doing good. Augie and the community around us does a lot for us so I feel like it’s important to give back in whatever way possible,” Small said.
Many sororities have also done their part to give back to important organizations.
Chi Omega Gamma (COG) senior, Kristin Schmidt, ran the “Party on the Patio” event, which raised money and collected donations for Winnie’s Place, a shelter for battered women and their children.
“As a Greek community we are all involved in different things. Some groups help with cancer donations, some mental awareness, and things like that,” Schmidt said. “Without these fundraisers, there might not be enough awareness around the community or even the funding may not be there. It is a great way to help bring awareness to different issues that are going on around the world and even the community.”
Sigma Kappa Tau (KTs) Junior, Emilie Antolik, was a co-chair for Augie’s Top Voice.
“Every year, Sigma Kappa Tau hosts Augie’s Top Voice. It is a singing competition that helps fundraise money for the co-chairs charity of choice,” Antolik said. “This year, like in the years past, has been Camp Kessem.”
Similar to every other group, members of the KTs do not let the importance of philanthropy go unnoticed.
“The Greek community should host fundraisers because it shows that Greek life isn’t how it is portrayed in the movies. It shows that we care about things outside of the Greek and, even the Augie bubble,” Antolik said.
Most Greek groups on campus host multiple events throughout the year, and also participate in Vikathon and Relay for Life.
Overall, the fraternities and sororities at Augustana simply do their best to give back to Augustana, and the community and world around them.