Greeks using athletic events for charity

| Senior Sports Editor

The Swamp was filled on Sunday with volleyball teams vying for bragging rights and raising money to make one girl’s dream come true at the Chi Omega Classic.

The women’s bracket had five teams, with Alpha Epsilon Phi triumphing over Alpha Omega Pi, while the men’s tournament boasted 12 teams. Sigma Chi emerged victorious in the men’s bracket.

Squads were engaged in rally play in a best-of-three 15-point-set competition. Some teams held practices. The two winning groups could choose between a Wii or an Xbox 360.

“It’s really great that something as small as one chapter can add up all over the country and support a national philanthropy,” said junior Emily McNish, marketing director for Chi Omega.

The efforts of the past week, including fundraisers at local-area restaurants and a wishing well, all go toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation. People could also throw balls at a dunk tank staffed by members of Chi Omega.

“Make-A-Wish is a really amazing cause, and we’re trying to send a girl with sickle cell anemia to Disney World,” sophomore Arden Plumb said. Plumb was dunked at least twice.

The fundraising goal is $5,000, and as of press time, the amount raised is unknown. In the past five years, Chi Omega’s Wash. U. chapter has raised over $25,000, according to McNish.

Each team was assigned two Chi Omegas, who made signs, cheered and coached their respective squads. Some Chi Omegas, including sophomore Lauren Chelew, filled in for short handed teams.

“I’m actually their coach, and we were just short a few people,” Chelew said. “I used to play volleyball in high school, so I was eager to play.”

Chelew played for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which fell to Sigma Nu.

Competitors came for the sun, fun and supporting charity.

“You hear about that kind of stuff on television,” said sophomore Justin Pieper, who played for Sigma Nu. “It’s cool to see it come to campus and be part of something that you’re doing.”

Events like these are not unique among Wash. U.’s Greek community. AOPi hosted the first Rose Bowl at the Swamp and the Village Green where teams competed in flag football. At the end of the day, Alpha Phi and Sigma Nu captured their respective titles. Funds raised through the tournament supported the Arthritis Foundation.

Delta Gamma hosted its annual Anchor Splash for Service for Sight in September, featuring synchronized swimming and other relays. Pi Phi hosts “Down and Dirty,” a basketball tournament, for First Book on Oct. 31.

Other groups send members to compete with most sororities and fraternities represented at the tournament on Sunday.

“It’s part of being in a sorority, giving back… and really supporting Panhellenic,” said junior captain Kayla Rudolph, vice president of philanthropy for AEPhi. “The attendance is really a testament to Greek Life and it’s really nice that everyone comes out and supports everyone else.”

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