A charitable 'war'

By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Greek tourney combines competition, compassion

The greek community has joined forces again this week to raise money for a fraternity's national philanthropy during a weeklong tournament of competitions and fundraisers.

Pi Kappa Phi is hosting their second annual "War of the Roses" event to raise money for their national philanthropy, People Understanding the Severely Handicapped America, said Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropy chair Garner Bass.

Throughout the weeklong tournament, members from the 11 participating sororities compete in events including the Greek Olympics, Greek Idol, powder-puff football and fundraising competitions, to win points for their chapter said Pi Kappa Phi fraternity President Jake Henderson.

This year Pi Kappa Phi wants to raise more than $5,000, the amount they raised during last year's War of the Roses, said Henderson.

The women earn points for their teams by winning events in the various competitions, said Bass, a marketing junior. The chapter with the most points at the end of the week wins a dinner exchange hosted by Pi Kappa Phi.

Yesterday's event, the Greek Olympics brought all participating sororities together on the UA Mall for cutthroat competition in events including sumo wrestling, jousting, an obstacle course and Slip N' Slide races.

The women cheered on their teammates as they competed in different heats of yesterday's events, chanting their sorority's name and encouraging the competitors.

"This is an amazing, fun experience," said Katie Joslyn a speech, language and hearing sciences freshman, as she cheered on a fellow member of Pi Beta Phi competing in the jousting competition. "The energy is incredible, it's even more than I expected."

To raise money for Pi Kappa Phi's philanthropy, each sorority purchased shorts advertising the tournament and will be hosting separate one-hour events for donations on the UA Mall today and tomorrow, said Henderson.

Pi Beta Phi will be accepting donations in exchange for throwing pies in the face of its members, Joslyn said.

Rachael Mead, a pre-pharmacy freshman representing Chi Omega said her sorority will give back scratches in exchange for donations tomorrow during the fundraising section of War of the Roses.

Today, sororities will compete in the Greek Idol competition, where they will be judged on their performances by members of both the greek and UA communities, Bass said.

At the end of the week, the sorority chapter with the most points will earn a trophy and bragging rights as the winner, Henderson said.

This tournament is different than other philanthropy events hosted by other chapters, said Pi Kappa Phi Vice President Danny Baker, because it is completely dry. They do not accept alcohol from sorority members, nor do they tolerate anyone being drunk during their events, he said.

"This is about raising money, not about partying," Baker said.