Question: What do a hot dog eating contest, a mechanical bull and women’s arm wrestling have in common?
Answer: Greek Week 2006.
An annual 10-day philanthropic project with activities like dunk tanks and Greek Olympics as well as more serious fundraising events like a silent auction and a charity ball, Greek Week aims to raise money for local and national causes.
Funds from this year’s events, which totaled $53,000, will be donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Coach Carr Cancer Fund, C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital and Food Gatherers.
LSA junior Johanna Runnels, a member of Chi Omega, said Greek Week events unite the Greek community and provide members a unique opportunity to interact and form friendships.
“Part of being in the Greek system is that we do charity events,” Runnels said. “Rather than just doing it within your sorority or fraternity, you’re doing it as a Greek community from the University of Michigan.”
Fraternities and sororities are divided into teams. They compete to raise the largest amount of money over the course of the week. Fraterities and sororities of the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association as well as Kappa Alpha Psi Inc., a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, participated in this year’s competition.
Team Three – Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha and Delta Chi – received top honors at last night’s culminating event, the Greek Sing and Variety performance.
Greek Week teams also collected 262 pints of blood for the American Red Cross and raised more than $1,600 through a community-wide recycling program.
Because the project encompasses a variety of events and thousands of students, Mike Vostrizansky, co-director of the Greek Week Steering Committee, said Greek Week is more visible to the campus community than the efforts of individual houses.
“A lot of the other philanthropy we do gets brushed under the rug,” he said. “Greek Week is our chance to shine and show people what we do and that we’re here.”
Vostrizansky also said this year’s slogan, “Not because we can – because we care,” reflects the Greek community’s strong dedication to service projects.
“It’s a little corny, but it’s true,” he said.