This year, his fraternity’s annual Derby Days fundraiser chose to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which pays for research for the illness.
“We decided that JDRF was an organization that not only meant something to our fraternity brothers, but there are other members of the Greek system that have Type 1 diabetes as well,” he said.
Derby Days is a weeklong competition among the Panhellenic Council sororities and associate member Phi Beta Chi sorority that is meant to spread awareness and raise money for the charity of the fraternity’s choosing.
Competitions take place during the week, and each one is worth a certain number of points. The sorority that gets the most points by the end of the week is declared the winner at the Sigma Chi alumni tailgate. This year’s winner was the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, which had 273 points.
Wright said that as of now, they have raised $13,000, but are expecting more to come from benefit nights that took place throughout the week.
“That is the most that has been raised since I have been in the fraternity,” he said. “Last year it was around $9,000 to $10,000.”
Junior Drew Golba, co-chairman of Derby Days, said the event is broken down into activities that earn points, such as the banner decorating competition, and that raise money, such as the cookout at the Sigma Chi fraternity house.
“There was a barbecue and a mechanical bull,” he said. “The competition was for which girl could stay on the longest. We made it fun, but at the same time all of the ticket sales (for the cookout) go to charity.”
Junior Kaley Vead, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, said this year’s charity was very personal to her.
“We have three girls in Alpha Chi who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, so I think that JDRF is a little bit closer to home,” she said. “It’s something I really took to heart and wanted to help with.”
Junior Nick Berman, the other co-chairman of Derby Days, said the most important part of the events is the philanthropic aspect.
“We were extremely proud of the amount of money that we were able to raise this year, so from a pure fundraising sense, I think we can say we were successful,” he said.
Sophomore Erica Batres, Derby Days captain for the Kappa Delta sorority, said her sorority raised quite a bit of money for the JDRF.
“KD raised $1,400 in Derby Days T-shirt sales alone, and that’s not including the barbeque ticket and Sweet Frog purchases that went to the cause,” she said.
Wright said he is extremely pleased with this year’s events.
“I think this year our guys really knew how much it meant to me and another one of our brothers,” he said.
“People just really rallied around that.”