It was a busy weekend of philanthropy for the Greek system, as fraternities and sororities participated in a carnival, a clean-up and a canoe race for various causes.
The volunteering began with the “Around the World” Carnival at Cayuga Heights Elementary School on Friday, where Greek system representatives manned booths to help raise money for the school.
“It’s a great interaction between the Ithaca community, the parents and children and the Greek community at Cornell,” said Maryam Guiahi ’01, vice president of University and community relations for the Panhellenic Council, which organized the event with the Interfraternity Council and On Site Volunteer Services.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of fraternity and sorority members convened at The Nines with brooms and dustpans to pick up trash, sweep the sidewalks and remove staples and banners from telephone poles. The Collegetown Cleanup takes place every semester and is sponsored by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils, which asked each house to bring approximately 10 participants.
“It’s a good way to bring members together in a unified effort to do some volunteering,” said Michael Tranter ’02, vice president of University and community relations for the Interfraternity Council. “It’s a goodwill gesture towards them [Collegetown residents] from the Greek community.”
Guiahi and Tranter promoted the event, working with the Collegetown Neighborhood Council and Collegetown businesses. “They are always supportive, saying hello and thank you for keeping the neighborhood clean,” said Tranter, adding that in the past they have sponsored T-shirts, donated bagels and pizza and come out to help clean.
Additional sponsors of the cleanup included the City of Ithaca’s Department of Public Works, the Dean of Students and Community Relations. Over 300 people participated this year in the clean-up making it one of the largest ever.
“It lets the rest of the community know we’re out here helping,” said Ahmad Ragab ’01, a brother in the Seal and Serpent fraternity.
“We feel it’s important to take part in our community,” said Umair Khan ’03, who is also in Seal and Serpent. “It’s also our community and we should make it clean.”
Later that day, the philanthropy continued at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority’s fifth annual Tippicanoe race on Beebe Lake. Over $1000 was raised from the entry fees from 60 teams to support Court Appointed Special Advocates, a charity which benefits children in juvenile justice and foster care systems. Prizes donated from local organizations, including gift certificates for meals at Little Joe’s and Ruloff’s, were presented to the winners of the race.
“It’s a fun, low pressure competition a lot of houses can get involved in,” said Kim Mohr ’02, co-chair of philanthropy for the sorority.
“It unifies the community,” said Kate Bennet ’02, co-chair of philanthropy for the sorority, who pointed out that many of the rowers were not in the Greek system.
Archived article by Anastasia Handy