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Greek community unites to raise $67,577

Greek Week collects funds for Derrick Nash Strong Foundation

Fraternities and sororities came together during Greek Week and raised $67,577 for a foundation formed by the family of former Central Michigan University football player, Derrick Nash, who died from cancer.

Greek organizations surpassed their fundraising goal of $55,000 for the Derrick Nash Strong Foundation. 

Funds were presented to the foundation at Saturday's spring football game in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Last year, just more than $50,000 was raised for the Angel Wings Foundation. The annual week of events included fundraising, community service events and finished on the Mock Rock dance competition between the 31 Greek Organizations that participated in the week.

Nash passed away in June after a two-year battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The foundation, started by his family, is a non-profit organization that aims to help the financial needs of families with acute or chronically ill children. The theme of the year was movie soundtracks.

"The money they were able to raise this week through Greek Week that's going to the Nash Foundation is something very neat and dear to my heart and our football team," said head football coach John Bonamego. "We know Derrick's parents are very much appreciative. I just want to send a special thank you out to that group. It's a job well done and we appreciate that very much."

Mock Rock, which consisted of 11 rehearsed dance-offs, took place on April 15, in McGuirk Arena and marked the end of Greek Week 2016.

After spending six days rehearsing a dance with dozens of people from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Mount Pleasant freshman Katie Zwick was excited to finally perform the dance in front of a crowd of more than 300 people.

“Performing felt 30 seconds long — it went by so fast,” said the Delta Phi Epsilon member. “Greek Week was competitive and hectic at times, but we still all managed to come together in a fun way to raise money for a great cause.”

Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Iota Phi Theta placed first in Mock Rock. Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau and Alpha Phi Alpha placed first in Greek Week. 

“I really like watching the dances. I probably couldn’t do the dances myself,” said Dearborn Heights junior Paige Zubok. “It’s funny to watch my friends because I can make fun of them after.”

Eleven teams from 31 organizations battled it out at the athletic games April 12. Students carried their team partners across the arena by creating a wheelbarrow with their bodies during the relay race, fought over folding chairs during musical chairs, chased other teams during a stumbling game of capture the flag and competed in a 25-point volleyball game. 

“I love how the entire Greek community comes together to raise money for a charity. The week ran pretty smoothly and our team got along well,” said Christina Ajluni, a Livonia senior and Delta Phi Epsilon member.

Greek Life members also spent from noon to 4 p.m. on April 14 performing community service-oriented events on Service Day. Inspirational mile markers for Girls on the Run and blankets were a few activities done at the Bovee University Center.

Donations were raised on April 13 through purchases at Insomnia Cookies, Panda Express, Las Senoritas and Tropical Smoothie during Local Business day.

A guest speaker from the Derrick Nash Foundation spoke in the Plachta Auditorium in Warriner Hall on April 11.  An all-Greek Life picture was taken in McGuirk Arena on April 10 to begin the week.

“It looks like everyone put in a lot of work. I give (Greek Life) a lot of credit,” said Saginaw freshman Sarah Burgess.