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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

War of Roses girls get down and dirty

Cheers erupt into chants that spread down the UA Mall Sunday morning, attracting passersby to stop and watch this spectacle.  No, it’s not the chants of Wildcat football fans after the home game. Rather, it’s sororities coming together to raise money for a cause.  

Beginning on Friday, the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi had its annual “”War of Roses”” philanthropy. A name that might conjure much animosity between the different sororities in fact brought these organizations together for a common cause: Push America.  

“”It’s a great event to get to raise money for a great cause,”” said Patrick Verdon, a member of Pi Kappa Phi and coach for one of the sorority teams.

However, “”War of Roses”” faced a complication. The philanthropy once had the benefit of a week-long period of events to raise money, but had to be put on in three days due to a new regulation passed by the Philanthropy Advisory Board, which states that any philanthropy events put on by Greek organizations cannot exceed three days. PAB was allegedly getting complaints that week-long philanthropy events were too long and stressful to participants. “”War of Roses”” is this year’s first philanthropy dealing with this time restriction.  

Last year’s “”War of Roses”” raised about $26,000, according to Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy chair Josh Guzman. Though the three-day barrier might have impeded the amount of donations, this year’s “”War of Roses”” still was able to raise $23,000, Guzman said.  

The money helps send active fraternity members to places where ramps and other renovations for the disabled need to be built, according to Guzman.  

A portion of the proceeds also goes to the “”Children’s Medical Center”” of Tucson.

“”The reason why we donate a portion to ‘Children’s Medical Center’ is because we don’t only want to donate nationally, but provide locally,”” Guzman said.  

According to Guzman, the efforts of Push America “”hits home.””Donations are raised through a donation link sent out to the sorority teams, percentage nights last Thursday and Friday at BTO Yogurt, as well as the efforts of the members of the fraternity themselves.

Greek Olympics, involving mini games between sororities, kicked off the series of events on Friday afternoon. Each sorority raised its competitive side with the chants, cheers, and songs of their sisters and coaches behind them.

Sunday night concluded the “”War of Roses”” events with “”Greek Idol”” at Centennial Hall. Creativity and energy is the key to this event. Each sorority prepared a full skit and dance routine that involved costumes, light effects, and jokes made at the expense of fraternity members.  

Elana Weiner, a junior psychology major had finished working at Centennial Hall Sunday night. Curious, she decided to stay and watch the “”Greek Idol”” skits.

Not being involved in the Greek life community, Weiner described the event as a “”mini culture.””

“”It’s cool.  The dances are cool, it’s cute,”” she said as music basses echoed.  

One sorority’s skit incorporated black lights, another had strobe lights, and costumes outlined in lights were also used to add effect.

The amusement and laughter of each skit also had a more serious note.  The hospital staff and some children of the Children’s Medical Center took the stage at the beginning of the show. Seeing the patients of the medical center gave the participating teams a rewarding feeling for all the hard work that they have done.  It “”shows the girls where the money goes,”” Guzman said.  

“”Learning that the fraternity works with them, (Push America) all year long is really cool knowing that they don’t just stop after this,”” said Weiner.

At the end of “”Greek Idol””, the winners were announced. The sorority with the most points from the events and the most money raised was Alpha Phi.

“”The more people involved, the better,”” Guzman said.

And according to Guzman, next year, “”War of Roses”” might incorporate other non-Greek organizations to participate as well as other fraternities.  Only sororities participate because they are a more organized group that can easily get together to practice for the skits and the powder puff football game, says Guzman.  

Founded by Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in 1977, Push America is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “”Building leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today, “”according to the Push America website.  Push America started out for the construction of a therapeutic play unit for the disabled and has evolved into a nationally recognized organization that has raised over $8 million and donated thousands of hours of manual labor.  

“”I hope more people do something like this,”” Guzman said. “”Fraternities get a bad rep, but we do “”War of Roses”” to show another side of us,””

 

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