VALDOSTA – The Lambda Mu chapter of Sigma Chi at Valdosta State University recently hosted Derby Days 2023, raising nearly $8,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and collecting more than 5,000 canned food items for Second Harvest of South Georgia.
“Derby Days is Sigma Chi’s week-long, annual philanthropy event,” said Samuel C. McFarland of Valdosta, who serves as Sigma Chi tribune and president of the Interfraternity Council at VSU. He anticipates earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics in 2024.
“Philanthropy is an integral part of Sigma Chi. We believe that bringing a community together to help those in need makes that community stronger. We truly enjoyed working with local businesses and our peers to help fight cancer and end hunger.”
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s mission is to ensure the future of cutting-edge research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. It is dedicated to better understanding the beginnings of cancer, more effectively treating cancer, relieving suffering, and improving the quality of life of cancer patients, survivors, and their families. Sigma Chi funding supports clinical trials, safer and more effective treatments, and hope for an end to cancer.
“Our motto for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation is We are the Generation to End Cancer, and we truly believe that through philanthropic events like Derby Days, we can achieve that,” McFarland said. “This year we were very fortunate to have several local businesses sponsor our event, and we are grateful for their support.”
The Lambda Mu chapter of Sigma Chi has been active at VSU since 2011. Since that time the fraternity has raised approximately $50,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and other philanthropic ventures.
McFarland said that all the canned food items collected during Derby Days benefit Second Harvest of South Georgia, which is headquartered in Valdosta and serves more than 400 partner agencies through a variety of programs.
Second Harvest of South Georgia is the leading hunger relief organization in the region and the second largest food bank in Georgia. It serves 26 counties across South Georgia, an area with the highest rates of poverty and food insecurity in the state and among the highest in the nation. One in four children in South Georgia lives in a home where having enough food is a struggle every day; one in five people (all ages) does not know where they will get their next meal.
“Our Sigma Chi brothers lend of helping hand at Second Harvest of South Georgia throughout the year,” McFarland said. “Helping our community has always been important to us, and we will continue to do what we can to help those in need.”
Derby Days was sponsored by Steel’s Jewelry, Southeast Capital Investment Group, Jimmy Johns, Southern Bleu Catering Co., Brown Haven Homes, and Eagle Eye Roofing.