Greeks raise money for cancer research with Sigma Freeze

The Central Michigan University Greek Life raised more than $12,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute on Friday and Saturday during the Sigma Freeze charity event.

“It’s really about bringing the Greek community together for a good cause,” said Jasmine Castillo-Trigilio, who played for Phi Mu. This was the first time the Shelby Township sophomore competed in Sigma Freeze.

The Hunstman Institute is based in Salt Lake City and is dedicated to researching cancer prevention through the study of DNA. The institute is currently working on finding a way to prevent cancer using elephant DNA.

On Friday, fraternities and sororities competed against each other in broom ball, a sport similar to hockey. The grand prize was a $500 donation to the winning team’s chosen charity. Delta Phi Epsilon sorority won in a shootout 1-0, earning $500 for the philanthropy Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

The event raised $480 through team registrations alone, said Carl Lamb, founder and CEO of Collegiate Charities.

Berkley sophomore Jason Wingate said beginning next year, Sigma Freeze will officially become a part of Collegiate Charities.

“We started the event three years ago, when it was just Sigma Chi versus Sigma Pi in a hockey game,” said Wingate, a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. “When we talked to (Lamb) about expanding, he got really involved.”

Cancer research is a personal cause to some participants — particularly for Brittany Ednie of Zeta Tau Alpha.

“It’s something that’s near and dear to Zeta’s hearts,” the junior said.

The Macomb native said one reason she decided to join the sorority was because its philanthropy promotes breast cancer education and awareness.

“My mom had breast cancer, so it’s something that hits close to home for me,” Ednie said.

The second half of the annual Sigma Freeze charity event was held Saturday at the Isabella County Events Center Arena. Rival fraternities Sigma Chi and Sigma Pi faced off in a hockey game to raise even more funds.

“It’s not about the game, it’s about raising money for a good cause,” said Rockford senior Andrew West, a member of Kappa Sigma.

Fellow Greeks, hockey enthusiasts and parents of the players all showed up to support the fraternities and contribute to the cause.

The night ended with a 2-1 victory for Sigma Pi, who narrowly won with a late third period goal.

Despite the loss for Sigma Chi, the two fraternities ended the night feeling victorious about the fundraiser’s success.

Sigma Pi member Michael Eller, who said he has lost family members to cancer, was more enthusiastic about supporting cancer research than his fraternity’s victory.

“It’s just friendly competition,” said the Commerce sophomore. “It’s a great cause and we do what we can to help.”