It’s time for Greek Week again, and it’s better than
ever, according to Co-Director Laura Butler. During Greek Week,
fraternity and sorority members compete in events ranging from
kickball to jousting in an effort to raise money for charity.

Greek members said they hope to outdo last year by raising their
fundraising goal to $50,000. Before the event began on Saturday,
they were already well on their way to reaching the target.

“Last year we raised about $38,000. Right now we’re
already at that point, and we’re still waiting on a few more
donations from our sponsors. This year we really wanted to aim
big,” Butler said.

Greek Week raises funds for the Coach Carr Cancer Fund, the
American Red Cross and Camp Heartland — a camp in Minnesota
for children who have been infected with HIV and AIDS. A portion of
the proceeds also will go to the winning team’s charity of
choice.

Greek Week runs until March 31, and activities include a blood
drive, Greek Olympics and a Sing & Variety show.

But this year the Greek Week Steering Committee was forced to
develop new fundraising ideas. “It’s been pretty tough
so far because of the economy, but we’ve gotten a lot of
donations from local businesses,” said Lindsay Saewitz, a
Greek Week organizer.

This year, the committee is implementing a silent auction
Thursday and Friday at the Michigan Union. The committee hopes this
will generate a significant amount of donations, Saewitz said.

For the first time, Greek Week will include all four Greek
councils. In addition to the Interfraternity Council and the
Panhellenic Association, the Multicultural Greek Council and the
University’s chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council
will be working to raise money.

“We’re really excited about participation this year.
Part of our Greek Week plan was to get more Greeks involved,”
said Dave Chang, a Greek Week organizer.

Although participation is voluntary, this year all of the
sororities affiliated with the Panhellenic Association and about 95
percent of the fraternities under IFC are participating. There are
also five groups from the Multicultural Greek Council and the
National Pan-Hellenic Council participating, Butler said.
“There are about 3,500 people participating. That’s a
lot of manpower, and we want to try to use this to make a
difference,” Butler added.

The Greek Week teams are determined by a drawing. Fraternity and
sorority houses are randomly paired together to promote team unity.
“We do it so everyone has a fair chance, so there are no
biases and so different houses can get to know each other,”
said Greek Week organizer Stephanie Ritok.

While Greek community members said they feel that they are often
wrongly labeled with a bad reputation, Greek Week is their chance
to prove they do give back to the community. “This year
we’re really focusing on bringing out awareness about our
charities to the greater Greek community and to the University as a
whole. We’re trying to spotlight the good things that the
Greek system does,” Butler said.

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