Kappa Sigma fraternity presented the money they raised during their philanthropy week to the Erlanger Neonatal Center Thursday, April 12.
Memphis sophomore and co-philanthropy chair, Marcelo Vargas said the fraternity gets to choose the organization they benefit each year.
“That’s the cool thing about our philanthropy week,” Vargas said. “We get to choose from a lot of options and research the different organizations and what they need.”
Lewis Newman, a Memphis sophomore, said they chose to benefit Erlanger because of its link to the UTC community.
“We had a lot of options, but we did our research and chose to go with Erlanger’s Neonatal center since it is something that is close to our community on campus,” Newman said. “It is right next door to campus and right next door to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house, so it’s cool to benefit something that’s so close.”
Newman said the neonatal center was in need of various additions to improve the comfort for premature newborns.
“They wanted sound-proof barriers because the babies need quiet to sleep,” Newman said. “They also wanted these special chairs that were roughly $300 a piece so that they could rock the babies, and it feels like it’s their own mother or something along those lines.”
Vargas said they had various sorority competitions throughout the week to help reach their monetary goal.
The events included a cookout and poster contest, a relay in the aquatics center, a sand castle building competition, a brother auction, and the Queen of the Seas competition, Vargas said.
Each event included an entry fee and winners earned points for their sorority, he said.
“The rest of the week we also had a table set up in the UC lobby, and we had penny wars, we sold candy,” Vargas said. “We had extra T-shirts to get rid of that we sold too so that we could raise the money that we needed.”
Newman said the fraternity had a great time getting the community involved and exceeded their goal.
“Our goal was $3500 and we ended up raising $3800,” Newman said. “Every year we up our standard for how much money we want to raise, and we always exceed our goal. It was especially cool because it was not only for the hospital, but a specific section of the hospital that needed it.”
Newman said they were sure it would be easy to get people behind their philanthropic cause.
“We knew that we could raise a lot money for the neonatal center because when it comes to sorority competition, they love kids, and it’s going to benefit future generations that may have not had the proper nourishment or opportunity otherwise,” he said.
Vargas said the philanthropy week was a great success and a fun time for all who were involved.
Newman said members of the fraternity met with employees of the neonatal center to present them with the money.
“We sat down with them and talked for a little while, and they were amazed at how much we had raised because we exceeded our goal and their expectations which opened the doors for them to expand and make that section of the hospital that much better,” Newman said. “There were six or seven brothers that came and presented them with what we had earned, and they could not stop thanking us so it was great to see how happy they were and that we were benefitting their program.”
Newman said he was excited to see so much involvement and excitement behind the philanthropy week.
“It’s a lot of fun because we really get these girls, and UTC in general, really excited about it because community service is not always the most exciting thing, and sometimes it can be sad,” he said. “We try to make it as much fun and as entertaining as we can so that they’re really ready to go and get as much money and participation as we can. It was just awesome to see all of the motivation.”