Derby Days raises $3,000 for charity

A local Eastern New Mexico University fraternity chapter raised more than $3,000 for charity with the help from local business owners, ENMU students and others.

Gabby Galvan: Courtesy photo

Demesia Medina of the Derby Dolls team, poses with a stolen Derby Hat by the City of Portales sign. During the annual event, started in 1934, Sigma Chi fraternity members wear derby hats in which teams of girls have to steal in order to earn points for raising money.
The last week of March marked the groups annual event called Derby Days in which the 28 members of the Zeta Sigma Portales chapter of Sigma Chi spent a week wearing derby hats around the ENMU campus and the community while being pursued by 64 female students.

"All the girls said they had a blast doing it," said event coordinator and Sigma Chi brother Jerrid Williams. "The professors have even come up to me and said they had a blast watching the girls chase us. There would be five or six girls chasing after one guy. It was fun to watch and fun to participate."

Williams said along with the female participants earning points for chasing down Sigma Chi members and stealing their hats, Derby Days also included points from several events held over a week-long period, including Dress a Sig, Sig Sing-off and Hunt a Sig.

"The guys had to make it to the Sigma Chi house before the girls with the guys on foot and the girls in vehicles," Williams said of the Hunt a Sig event. "The purpose of doing it (Derby Days) is to raise money for different charities. We're a social, non-profit service fraternity, so part of our obligation to the community and Eastern is to add to the community instead of just being a party fraternity."

Williams said fraternity members asked various female students on campus to participate in the event, charging the 64 participants $20 a piece and dividing them into six teams.

He said the purpose of the event was to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, which raises money for children's hospitals across North America.

"With the community, they support us in everything we do, whether it be our haunted house at Halloween or Derby Days," said Jason Tidwell, recruitment chairman for the fraternity.

Williams and Tidwell said the Dress a Sig event involved teams dressing up Sigma Chi members as fairytale princesses, such as Snow White and Fiona from the movie "Shrek."

They said funds from all their events go toward either the Children's Miracle Network or Huntsman Cancer Institute.

"I'm really excited that we raised that much money, so we can help kids with cancer and genetic diseases," Williams said. "They don't have insurance and that's what this is for. It's all for the greater good. It's definitely the most rewarding part, to see everyone having fun but also knowing that we are helping these kids, which is the part we don't see."

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