The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday May 25th

Derby Days Events Raise Record Sum

This year's Derby Days fund-raiser took place from Oct. 3 to Oct. 13 and collected $53,427 -- about $30,000 more than the event raised last year.

The proceeds from Derby Days, which is organized by the Sigma Chi fraternity, will go to North Carolina Children's Miracle Network, UNC Children's Hospital and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Derby Days also is a competition among the panhellenic sororities on campus. Competitions take place during the week, and whichever sorority gains the most points from placing in events wins.

Events included the sororities painting wagons for transporting children through the UNC Children's Hospital, a banner contest and a karaoke competition.

The winner of this year's competition was the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, which has won the past two years.

"Derby Days is an excellent way to show support for our sorority, and it's also a good way to raise money for a good cause," said senior Jennifer Stafford, a member of Alpha Chi Omega.

Sigma Chi member Jon Lubert, co-chairman of Derby Days, said a larger number of participants led to an increase in money raised. Lubert said participation nearly tripled, which he attributed to increased accessibility of the events.

"I think Sigma Chi tried to make it easier for the sororities to participate in by making it less of a time constraint," said Brandy Chapman, president of the Delta Zeta sorority. "It was easier for you to get to them because they were at night."

But officials said one of the major concerns about Derby Days is the amount of drinking that occurs. Lubert said people tend to focus on the more negative aspects of Greek life, but he said this fund-raiser was a positive event.

Lubert said no events in which sororities could gain points focused on drinking.

He said alcohol was only available to participants if the establishment where the event was held sold alcohol. He also said students only drank at the post-football parties if they brought their own alcohol.

"The only way drinking occurs at Derby Days is on a voluntary basis," Lubert said. One of the noncompetitive events held at Top of the Hill did involve money being raised through beer sales. For every beer sold, Top of the Hill donated $1 to Derby Days.

But Lubert said he felt this event did not encourage underage or binge drinking. "We find it hard to believe that anyone would feel negative about an event that raises money for people in New York just because people of legal drinking age buy a couple of beers."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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