Greek Organizations Extend Philanthropy To Campus and Community Events

Greek Organizations Extend Philanthropy To Campus and Community Events

Each of the Greek organizations on Colgate’s campus partake in and support various philanthropic groups. Additionally, each group hosts unique community service events throughout the school year, and often times collaborate with one another. Philanthropy chairs for Colgate’s sororities and fraternities shared the ways in which their organization, and even their specific chapter at the University, has contributed to the philanthropies they support.

“Tri-Deltas nationally have teamed up together and promised to raise $15 million in five years for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Philanthrophy Chair for Delta Delta Delta (Tri-Delt) sophomore Jodi Forward said.

She explained how back in February of this year, Tri-Delt collaborated with other student groups and organizations on campus to celebrate Valentine’s Day while helping those in need.Each of the Greek organizations on Colgate’s campus support different philanthropic groups and each group hosts unique community service events throughout the school year, often collaborating with one another. Greek philanthropy chairs shared the ways in which their organization, and chapters have contributed to the larger philanthropies they support.

“Tri-Deltas nationally have teamed up together and promised to raise $15 million in five years for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” Philanthrophy Chair for Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta) sophomore Jodi Forward said.

“This semester, Colgate’s chapter of Tri Delta teamed up with Philanthropists at Colgate (PAC), Blue Diamond Society (BDS) and Kappa Kappa Gamma to organize two different Valentine’s Day themed events this February. In the afternoon, students gathered in the PAC house to make Valentine’s Day cards to send to St. Jude’s patients,” Forward said. “Later on that night, a Valentine’s Day themed event was held in PAC house, giving students an opportunity to donate money to St. Jude’s Hospital. Around $1,600 was raised from this event.”

“Another special event that Tri Delta runs is the Charity Bowl in the fall where the Colgate Football game is shown on a big screen and a silent auction is held. Last year around $2500 was raised. The upcoming philanthropy event is the Greek Afternoon of Service where Tri Delta has partnered with the Hamilton Center for the Arts,” Forward said.

Gamma Phi Beta sorority also supports a number of philanthropies.

“Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropic motto is ‘Building Strong Girls’,” Philanthropy Chair for Gamma Phi Beta sophomore Katie Cech said. “We strive to encourage young girls to be all that they can be, and to build confidence within themselves. Gamma Phi Beta, internationally, partners with three different organizations: Camp Fire USA, which helps send girls to camp across the U.S.; Girl Guides of Canada, which is basically like Girl Scouts; and Girls on the Run (GOTR) is the newest organization to be added to the list of Gamma Phi’s philanthropic partners. GOTR has councils all over the country, within which they train and mentor girls so that they can run a 5K. In addition, chapters can choose to support local organizations that also see to our mission of ‘building strong girls,’ so here at Colgate, our Delta Tau chapter of Gamma Phi supports the local day camp, Madison County Children’s Camp.”

Cech detailed some of the specific Gamma Phi philanthropy events that her chapter participates in regularly.

“Every Gamma Phi chapter holds a Crescent Classic event that raises money either for one of the international organizations or a local organization,” Cech said. “Gamma Phi at Colgate traditionally has always done a soccer tournament in the spring, the proceeds of which goes to Madison County Children’s Camp. This year the tournament is Saturday, April 13, and we are going to be donating some of the proceeds to the local GOTR council as well.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority focuses its philanthropic efforts on reading causes.

“At Kappa Kappa Gamma, reading is key,” Philanthropy Chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma junior Melissa Benton said. “We mainly support a great philanthropy called Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). Its mission is to support literacy for all kids so they can grow, learn and imagine. In addition to making sure that kids have access to books locally and nationally, we throw a big birthday party annually for local underprivileged children to help them celebrate. We love cosponsoring and have done work with Philanthropists at Colgate (PAC) house in cosponsoring card-making for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and have other plans to support the Joyful Heart Foundation with them later this semester. Another upcoming event includes supporting a bone marrow drive later this month, and we have much more planned.”

Phi Delta Theta Fraternity has extended its philanthropy to on-campus and community-oriented efforts.

“Phi Delta Theta prides itself in its deep commitment to philanthropy both on campus and throughout the Hamilton Community,” Philanthropy Chair for Phi Delta Theta sophomore Zach Pitowsky said. “We host and organize multiple Red Cross blood drives each semester, which have been incredibly successful in getting necessary blood units to the region’s hospitals. We engage the Hamilton community by hosting an annual pumpkin carving event, Great Pumpkin, with Gamma Phi Beta and an Easter Egg Hunt with Tri Delta. Last spring, we put on Concert for the Cure to raise money for two cancer charities, Brendan’s Fund and Love of Linda, in honor of our brother Vic Krivitski ’12, who passed away two years ago. We are constantly forming new initiatives, like providing books to a classroom at Hamilton Central Elementary and sponsoring a movie for Hamilton children, to further our commitment to philanthropy.”

Juniors Peter Truwit and Harris Greenstein, the philanthropy chairs for Beta Theta Pi fraternity, shared specific events that their chapter hosted related to the philanthropic groups they support.

“We organized a charity event called Slam Dunk Alzheimer’s alongside a Colgate Navy basketball game,” Truwit said. “It was for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. We contacted the local upstate New York chapter for Alzheimer’s awareness and they sent some staff and pamphlets down to help us out at the game. Under Armour also donated 250 t-shirts to the cause that we had printed with a cool design and sold for $5 minimum donation.”

Truwit explained the details of the Huntsman Cup, which is an annual philanthropic event on campus.

“Beta, along with Sigma [Chi Fraternity], do a hockey game and donate all proceeds from ticket sales to the Huntsman Foundation,” Truwit said. “We raised over $1,500 this year.”

Delta Upsilon Fraternity (DU) has centered its philanthropy around health causes.

 “In the 2012-2013 academic year, Delta Upsilon has engaged in a number of endeavors to help improve the health of the community,” Philanthropy Chair for Delta Upsilon junior Nick Housden said. “In the fall, we raised about $3,000 for Uplifting Athletes, money that will be used for research into ependymoma, a rare cancer of the brain and spinal cord. We also teamed up with [Delta Delta Delta] to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We have numerous events in the works for this semester, including a day of service in March and, if everything falls into place, a charity golf tournament at Seven Oaks when the weather gets better. As part of a new initiative, the men of DU are actively working with other fraternities and sororities to strengthen the presence of Greek life philanthropy at Colgate.”

Sophomores Gabe Zetter and Jason Bressler are the current philanthropy chairs for Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity (Phi Tau).

“As philanthropy chairs, it’s been our job to initiate, coordinate and implement philanthropic events to support a variety of non-profits, such as the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Michael J. Fox foundation and local organizations in the town of Hamilton,” Zetter said. “We’ve been really excited about the opportunity to help those in need and to increase awareness and service participation among the members of our fraternity and in the community at large.”

Zettler explained a specific philanthropic event that he helped organize for Phi Tau.

“A few weeks ago, Jason and I organized an intra-fraternal (members of Phi Tau only) three-on-three basketball tournament for our frat,” Zettler said. “We managed to raise over $300 that has been donated to a charity run by Mack Woodruff’s father, called The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps heal the physical and psychological wounds of soldiers returning from deployment. Our goal in orchestrating this kind of small, spontaneous, guerilla philanthropic event is to get brothers in our fraternity engaged in philanthropy via fun, non-intrusive activities.”

He also detailed some of his organization’s upcoming philanthropic goals and events.

“Our next scheduled activity of this sort will be an intra-fraternal dodgeball tournament with the same format as the three-on-three tourney. A generous grandmother of one of our brothers has offered to donate five times whatever money we raise during the event (up to 5 times $500) to the Michael J. Fox foundation, so we are very excited about this event as well. Finally, we are working in collaboration with the philanthropy chairs of all the other Greek organizations on campus to organize and run a day of service this April. Phi Tau will be assisting at the Madison Lane Apartments, which provide residence and care for senior citizens in the area” Zettler said.

Theta Chi Fraternity has done several philanthropy events already this year, and have several more lined up.

“We were an active supporter of the Relay for Life Campaign, and raised close to $300 for it as well as sending a few members of our fraternity to participate in the event. Several of our members participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. day of service in January, and we’re currently helping to plan a Greek Afternoon of Service that will take place several weeks after spring break,”  Co-Philanthropy Chair sophomore James Carrol explained. “We’re also currently working with The Brothers of Colgate University to plan and eventually participate in a charity auction.”

The Philanthropy Chairs of Sigma Chi Fraternity were unavailable for comment.

Contact Amanda Golden at

[email protected]