Students walking to and from the cafeteria on Thursday were greeted by the first annual Greek Week Philanthropy Carnival, a colorful variety of games, tables and posters arrayed on the lawn south of Seymour Union.
Each Greek organization had its own booth, allowing for a wide variety of events including bag tossing, a kissing booth, tarot readings, face painting, football throwing, ring tossing and the opportunity to throw water balloons or eggs at members. Tickets could be purchased to participate, costing a dollar for four tickets or five dollars for 25 tickets.
Some organizations went all out for the event. Gentlemen of Quality provided a moonbounce and Sigma Nu brought in a dunk tank.
“We’ve been wanting to do a dunk tank for a couple years and this was a good excuse for it,” senior Matthew Stephens, a Sigma Nu, said. Their booth also included a popcorn machine, cotton candy and sno-cones.
Participants at the carnival were eager to drench the Sigma Nus, making their tank one of the most popular booths.
The organization that raked in the most tickets got to choose what charity would receive the money from the entire event. In order to garner more participants, some booths even had prizes or giveaways, including squirt guns, food or gift cards.
The event was run by the Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) as part of Greek Week, an annual event in which all Greek Organizations compete in various activities.
“It came to me while I was taking a shower,” David Aken, who came up with the idea for the event last spring, said. “I became the service chair for GQ last year and we wanted to have a big event for the whole community. There was an early struggle to see if people would participate, so this year we brought it to IFC.”
Participation on the Greek side of things was hardly an issue on Thursday. All of the organizations were represented and most everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves.
“I think it’s a great turnout and face for the Greeks, doing a philanthropy carnival,” sophomore Natalee Young, a member of Delta Delta Delta, said. The Deltas ran a picture booth, where participants could stick their faces through a painted cutout of dancing Greek figures and Abraham Lincoln in a toga.
“We wanted something quick, fun and that could include a lot of people,” Young said. “But also something you could look at later on, as a memory.”
Although the forecast called for rain and the planners considered rescheduling, the carnival was a success, raising $923.15. Sigma Nu won the event with 1,058 tickets collected. They chose to donate the money to Habitat for Humanity.
Despite its decent attendance and financial success, the organizers have plans for the carnival to expand beyond the Greek sphere in the future.
“We’re hoping it continues to grow in the coming years,” junior and President of Panhel Anne Horrell said. “The idea is to make it its own event, so all clubs and organizations can participate.”
Ultimately, Aken, the IFC and Panhel would like to see the event reach the community at large, with local businesses providing food or attractions. This year, the planners hoped that the Boys and Girls club would be able to attend the carnival, but due to scheduling conflicts the only children at the event were those brought by professors.
Even without much community participation this time around, the event is expected to grow.
“I think it’ll be much bigger next year,” Stephens said. “Everyone will be trying to top each other.”