Sigma Chi’s annual philanthropy, Derby Days, raised a record-breaking $31,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network at Shands at UF on Friday and Saturday.
“It’s probably one of the best things we do, and it’s a great cause,” said Brett Owens, a Derby Days chairman. “It’s been really fulfilling.”
Sororities also competed to earn points based on how much money they raised, how many hats they collected in a campus-wide hat hunt and how they performed in a line-dancing competition.
Kappa Delta won the overall competition, but Alpha Omicron Pi won the line dancing competition About 300 people to Norman Field on Saturday morning. Fifteen sororities competed, and each one chose a theme to base its dance around.
Jenna Rush, an advertising senior, danced her fourth and final year with Delta Gamma.
“I do it every year because it’s so much fun working with the boys and teaching them how to dance,” she said. “It’s hysterical, and it’s a good time.”
Luke Sipka, a freshman, danced with Phi Mu. The group’s theme, Bros and Hos, had the men and women switching roles.
Sipka wore a blond wig and said he enjoyed his breezy halter dress.
“It’s a lot more open,” Sipka said. “The air just flows better.”
Parents of participants also showed their support.
Rita Goodman, a 56-year-old psychotherapist from Orlando, was there to watch her son Seth Goodman, a member of Sigma Chi.
“So we are supporting this,” she said, pointing and laughing at her son’s leopard-print Tarzan costume.
As she poked fun at her son, his friend Benjamin Powers, a junior finance major, came and danced with her while wearing a Johnny Depp pirate costume.
“These guys are a lot of fun,” Goodman said. “They are so nice to the parents when they come.”
She said she enjoyed the event and appreciated the fraternity’s philanthropy.
“It’s fabulous,” she said. “I think it’s for a great cause. It’s well organized, and the spirit of the boys and girls is amazing.”
In addition to the parents, sorority sisters and friends cheered and waved signs as they huddled together on tarps and beach towels to watch the competition.
Sarah Crawford, a sophomore psychology major who cheered for her Chi Omega sisters, thought this was one of the best Derby Days. She also said Chi Omega had the best dance.
“Ours was the best —that’s just how it goes,” Crawford said.