The Generation to End Cancer

This week the Kappa Iota chapter of Sigma Chi will be hosting their annual Derby Days, a week-long effort of fundraising for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. In the past two years the chapter has raised over $50,000 for cancer research.

Fundraising is conducted throughout the week through events put on by the chapter, selling merchandise and general donations.

The events for this week are as follows:

Events are $5 with the exception of the pageant being $3. Entering a team into the dodgeball tournament is $30 for a team of six, and to register for the 5k a donation of $15 is required with an extra $5 for a towel.

Sigma Chi will also be selling shirts for $16.26 and $10.95, hats for $16.26 and drawing tickets to win a brand-new 32 inch smart TV for $4.57, with all proceeds going directly to cancer research.

Much of the fun during the week comes from the competition between the Derby Girls and their teams. The Derby Girls are women representing their organizations on campus competing for the title of Derby Darling. Money raised, attendance and event participation in their name and performance in the Derby Girls pageant all contribute to their odds at winning.

The Derby Girls this semester include:

  • Miranda Erikson, a senior elementary education major from Paradise representing the ACES.
  • Spencer Smith, a junior criminal justice major from Las Vegas representing the Delta Psi Omega Sorority.
  • Kirsten Mudrow, a senior elementary education major from Syracuse representing SUUSA.
  • Amy Andre, a senior communication major from Bountiful representing the Alpha Phi sorority.
  • Sam Cress, a junior elementary education major from Salt Lake City representing the Student Programming Board.
  • Kylee Minson, a sophomore exploratory studies student from Salt Lake City representing the Presidential Ambassadors.
  • Ashley Epperson, a junior communication major from Salt Lake City representing the Cheerleaders.
  • Tupouseini Hosea, a junior criminal justice major from West Valley City representing the Polynesian Club.
  • Anna Svarrer, a sophomore communication major from Aarhus, Denmark representing the international students.
  • Haleigh Clemens, a senior communication major from Las Vegas representing the fall 2017 pledge class of Sigma Chi.

Brandon Payne, a sophomore management major from Salt Lake City, is the current philanthropy chair for Sigma Chi and in charge of this fall’s Derby Days.

Payne said he loves the fact that Jon Huntsman wants to turn the research facilities and hospital into a luxury hotel when the cure for cancer is found. “He’s so confident that they will cure it that he’s already looking for something else to do with the hospital,” Payne said, “I genuinely believe we will see cancer cured in our lifetime.”

Smith wanted to be a Derby Girl because her mom was Derby Darling for the Sigma Chi chapter at Texas Tech University in 1978. Smith said she believes when it comes to finding the cure for cancer, “We’re the generation that’s going to discover more, take it to the next level and figure out the answers like no one has before.”

Sigma Chi brother Jeff Rollins, a sophomore exercise science major from Eagle Mountain, has lost multiple family members to cancer including his grandmother and father.

During Sigma Chi’s Blue and Gold Gala Rollins said he had an emotional moment due to a table traditionally set and left empty for those who have lost their battle with cancer. “Seeing names of people I knew hit me kinda hard, and then seeing their faces come up made me realize just how much I’ve been affected personally,” Rollins said.

You can support Sigma Chi’s Derby Days by donating here, purchasing merchandise and drawing tickets here or signing up to play on a dodgeball team or run in the 5k here.

Follow the Kappa Iota chapter of Sigma Chi and their journey to end cancer by following them on Instagram or Twitter.

Story By
Haleigh Clemens