Undergrads fight cancer with a football

While a big part of being in a Fraternity or Sorority is the fun and social aspect that comes along with it, there are some more important things that we do that may get overlooked or overshadowed at times. One thing that a lot of houses do that often goes unnoticed is philanthropy. Raising money in creative and fun ways and then donating it to a charity or organization is something that has been a part of the Greek system nationwide for a very long time. From my own personal experiences in FIJI, I can really say that being a part of something that helps so many people is really a satisfying and rewarding feeling that I don't think I would have got to fully experience had I not joined a Fraternity.

Since 2006, our house has done what is called the "Rivalry Run", in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We pair up with the FIJI chapter at Ohio State, and every year on the weekend of the Michigan vs. Ohio State game, we physically run the ball half-way to whichever stadium the game is being played at, and the other chapter will run the ball the rest of the way to their respective stadium. It ends up being a total of 187 miles and takes at least 30 hours to complete. Through writing letters to family and friends, bucketing at football games, going to local business, getting corporate sponsorships, and many other things as well, we are able to raise an impressive amount of money to donate towards fighting cancer. Last year we raised $34,000 and we hope to surpass that amount this year and raise at least $40,000. This event is growing every year and has even been written about by Sports Illustrated in years past.

While this event is certainly time-consuming and very tiring, it really is a lot of fun to participate in, and the end-result is well-worth all of the work we put into it. Cancer is such a destructive and widespread disease in today's society that it is hard to come by anyone who doesn't have a family member or friend that has been affected by it. I personally have lost family to cancer and know friends who have it as well, and I think that plays a big role in why philanthropy events like this are able to be so successful and attract so many donors. When you have a personal connection to something, it makes it that much more important to you and makes you try that much harder to do a good job at it. Events such as the "Rivalry Run" are something that I will always be able to look back on and be glad that I was involved in, because being a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself is really a unique experience. If you want to check out more about the run or even donate, you can go to

David Panter   2014

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