During this year’s annual Greek Week competition, students involved in Greek Life expanded community service efforts beyond their usual fundraising activities.
The 10 day charity event concluded last night with the annual “Sing and Variety” talent competition, where Team New York — comprised of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and the fraternities Alpha Sigma Phi and Delta Kappa Epsilon — was crowned the winner. The 15 teams of fraternities and sororities, named after large U.S. cities, raised money for six local charities.
Greek Week began at the University in 1978, and the fraternities and sororities use the occasion to raise money for national and local charities. This year, proceeds will go to several Southeastern Michigan charities, including the Vada Murray Fund for Cancer Research, C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, The Friendship Circle, SafeHouse Center, Ele’s Place and the Scott L. King Serving Aces for Sarcoma Research Endowment.
LSA junior Laura Raines, a member of the Greek Week 2012 business committee and the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, said organizers added a new community service day to this year’s activities. Teams New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Aspen, Miami and Las Vegas sent about 100 members to nearby Dexter to help clean up damage from the March 15 tornado.
“It was a really great addition this year to get more into the service aspect instead of just the competition and just raising money,” Raines said.
Raines explained that other service projects included cleaning up Nichols Arboretum, writing letters to soldiers serving overseas, and volunteering with Will Work For Food — a University organization aimed at supporting malnourished children around the world. The week also included traditional events such as the Greek Olympics, the Mr. Greek Week pageant and Anchor Splash — an aquatics competition held by Delta Gamma sorority.
Raines added that the annual Journey of Dreams — an event in which representatives from each of the six charities benefiting from the week’s events spoke to team members and University students about the missions of their organizations — was particularly successful this year.
“While (Greek Week) is a fun time in our community, it also helped a lot of people in the Ann Arbor community,” she said.
Raines said she is proud of the work the Greek community did this year, adding that events such as the Greek Week blood drive — collected 40 donations per day for five days — are particularly important to helping those in need.
“It has been a great turnout. Everyone has been around, wearing their team shirts and showing great spirit,” she said. “It has been a great week just to show the campus what the community does and was a great way to give back and still have fun.”
LSA senior Julia Martorana, a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and part of Team Las Vegas, volunteered in Dexter and helped to remove fallen trees and other debris from the aftermath of tornado. Martorana wrote in an e-mail interview that helping local people in need was gratifying, particularly during her experience of speaking with a woman who could see the tornado from her window.
“We were glad we could help and hope that others will join in the effort of helping a nearby town get back to normal,” Martorana wrote.
Business senior Allison Haney, also a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, wrote in an e-mail interview that there was a clear need for help in Dexter and she was glad to have the opportunity to take part in the service learning experience.
“One thing I learned is that the insurance companies pay for structure damage, but don’t cover anything else on the property, such as clearing trees,” Haney wrote. “We were told many of the residents affected were older or lived alone, so a task like removing trees would have been too difficult to do without volunteers.”
Correction Appended: A previous version of this article misidentified one of the fraternities in Team New York.