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They hold all-you-can-eat dinners, chili feeds and bake sales to raise money, clean up highways, volunteer in nursing homes, rake leaves, baby-sit for parents and hold a senior citizen prom.
Those are just some of the ways Greek fraternities and sororities at University of Wisconsin-Stout help local residents each year. Members volunteer thousands of hours and raise thousands of dollars annually.About 265 students are members this year of seven official Greek social organizations at UW-Stout.
The fraternities and sororities, including one coed group, recently were organized as the Inter Greek Council. The purpose of the council is to promote cooperation, leadership, volunteer work and social engagement among the organizations and their members.
The council, for example, is hoping to bring all Greek fraternities and sororities together in the spring for a service day.
The Inter Greek Council president is Garrison Gless, of Hartford, a construction major. “Each of our organizations on campus has a long tradition of volunteer work in the community. Those traditions are based on each organization’s constitution, mission and values,” said Gless, who also serves in the University Senate.
“We volunteer because we see a need, whether those efforts are directly related to the need that we see with volunteering in person or whether our efforts are focused on a charity event where the money goes to a charity of our choosing.”
Gless is a member of Chi Lambda, which has 47 members. “I have had an opportunity to set up our volunteer and charity work. In the end, giving back to our community makes everything more than worthwhile,” he said.
Phil Lyons, assistant vice chancellor for Administrative and Student Life Services, belonged to a Greek fraternity in college. “It provided leadership, philanthropic and athletic activity that I would not have otherwise experienced. Greek organizations can be strong contributors to academic, social and public service missions of universities,” Lyons said.Following is a list of the Greek fraternities and sororities on campus, the number of members and examples of their recent volunteer work:
Alpha Phi , 46 members: The Alpha Phi Foundation supports cardiac health care for women. The group held its annual Alpha Phi-Esta, all-you-can-eat nacho feed, and raised more than $500. In the spring, it will hold the Red Dress Gala, which raised $4,000 last year.
Delta Zeta, 46 members: They hold Parents Night Out — baby-sitting for local families — to raise money for the sorority’s national philanthropy efforts; held the Turtle Tug, a tug of war, to raise money for a children’s camp; and raked leaves for the elderly in Menomonie. Upcoming service efforts will include a pancake dinner fundraiser for Gallaudet University for the deaf and hard of hearing, Relay for Life and Dimes for the Deaf to support Starkey Hearing Foundation. Members have volunteered 760 hours this year.
Sigma Sigma Sigma, 50 members: They have volunteered at the Menomonie Public Library, carved pumpkins with local Girl Scouts and held a fundraiser to benefit child play therapy and women’s leadership opportunities. In the spring, members will hold a senior citizen prom, help with Relay for Life and hold Rockin’ for Robbie, another fundraiser.
Phi Theta Chi, 12 members: They raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Relay for Life and Feed My Starving Children. Projects include highway clean-up, caroling and volunteering at local nursing homes. Fundraisers include an all-you-can-eat pancake, sausage, and egg dinner and selling breast cancer awareness items.
UW-Stout has had Greek student organizations since 1927.
Phi Sigma Phi, 39 members: Each semester, they hold a fundraising dinner to benefit a designated charity, Ronald McDonald House. Members also have volunteered with Bridge to Hope, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, Toys for Tots and held a charity golf tournament. This year, members sponsored an underprivileged local child for Christmas, purchasing more than $400 worth of clothing and gifts.
Chi Lambda, 47 members: They hold a local highway cleanup each semester and, in conjunction with Sigma Sigma Sigma, do yard cleanup each fall for local residents. A fall chili feed benefits the local Stepping Stones food pantry.
Kappa Lamda Beta, 23 members: In the fall, members held Rock-a-Thon, a 72-hour music marathon to raise money for an annual $500 scholarship benefiting an incoming or current student with a disability. The fundraiser is in memory of alumnus Patrick “Buckshot” Phelan, who had cerebral palsy. Members also held an all-you-can-eat grilled cheese and tomato soup dinner to raise money. During commencement, they sell roses as a fundraiser, with any leftover flowers donated to local assisted living residents.