Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Missouri-Rolla Greeks Support Service Day

UMR’s Greek Week kicks off as mayor makes proclamation
Laura Ginsberg

Greek Week at the University of Missouri-Rolla kicks-off today as more than 200 sorority and fraternity members help local schools, organizations and residential-care facilities during Service Day.

“This year, we’ve got 18 different organizations participating in Service Day,” Chris McGauley, public relations director for the Interfraternity Council said. “We’re a part of the community -- we live here and we want to give back. The Greek system does community service, not only on Service Day, but throughout the semester.”

Fraternity and sorority members will be volunteering at about a dozen locations today, including the Rolla Public Schools, the Russell House, the Phelps County Community Partnership and Rolla Manor Care Center.

Although Greek Week is Sept. 15 to 22, activities are planend for Sept. 8 to 22. During activities, sororities and fraternities earn points based on their participation, and each house that has 60 percent of its members participating in Service Day will earn 25 points. Points also could be earned throughout last week through participation in a blood drive held on campus. McGauley said the Greek system set a goal of collecting 550 units of blood during the week and as of Thursday night, they were just 100 units short of that goal.

On Sunday, the Greek system will raise money through an aluminum can drive, and proceeds will be given to a charity selected at the close of Greek Week. Money also will be raised for charity during the Penny Wars on Sept. 20. The Penny Wars will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Havener Center. Members of the Greek system, the community and UMR students are encouraged to stop by and donate their spare change to a good cause.

Each sorority and fraternity will have a collection jar and every penny placed in the jar will count as one point toward their Greek-Week total, while nickels, dimes and quarters count as negative points. At the end of Greek Week, money collected during the Penny Wars will be donated to a selected charity, and donations made by cash or check from the community are appreciated and encouraged, McGauley said.

Another way the Greek system reaches out to the community during Greek Week is through the Linking Hearts Carnival. The carnival, scheduled from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Lions Club Park, provides a fun, friendly atmosphere in which children seeking adoption can connect with families looking to adopt. During the three years the Linking Hearts Carnival has been held, more than 150 children have been brought together with more than 200 families.

Each sorority and fraternity house is responsible for building a carnival-type booth for the event, and members of the Greek system are matched as “buddies” with children a the carnival.
“It’s great,” McGauley said of the Linking Hearts Carnival, adding that it provides a stress-free atmosphere for children and families to meet and connect.

Other Greek Week events include opening and closing games at the Vichy Airport fields, “Idi-Odyssey” games at the Havener Center, a hay ride and a guest speaker, T.J. Sullivan, who will talk about “Confronting the Idiot in Your Chapter,” a speech that focuses on how Greek organizations can present a positive image.

“We all come together, we all have a good time with one another, and we compete against each other, but it’s in good fun,” McGauley said of Greek Week.


UMR’s Greek Week kicks off as mayor makes proclamation