Partying with a purpose

Fraternities have grown a stereotypical reputation as being a group of brothers who throw parties and hang out. People also consider the things one has to do to get into a fraternity irrational.

But at Castleton College, the Sigma Delta Chi brothers these days are partying to help young sick kids in need.

Now that Flubberbusters in nearby Hampton, N.Y. has closed, the brothers have teamed up with The Local bar in Rutland to host fund-raiser parties.

“We raised $1,200 total at our last party on March 13 and donated half of the proceeds to Make-A-Wish Foundation,” said Sigma brother Seth Pletcher.

 Sigma Delta Chi is Castleton’s lone fraternity, has 10 brothers, and has been around for 30 years. The fund-raisers started when, Chip Greeno, owner of the popular Rutland bar, reached out to the brothers and asked them to start throwing parties there. The brothers didn’t hesitate and they said they and Greeno like the idea of raising money to give back.

Allison Mills, from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Burlington, was excited when the $600 check arrived on Thursday.

“We are thrilled to receive this $600 donation from Sigma Delta Chi. It is always exciting to see students of all ages giving back to our wish kids. Donations like these make such a difference. Every dollar helps grant wishes to children statewide at a time when they need it most,” she wrote in an email response.

Make-A-Wish provides wish experiences for kids battling serious illnesses, from Disney Trips to Major League baseball games.

“Sigma Delta Chi has been doing fund-raisers for charities for years now, from food drives, raising money for crime stoppers and the Wounded Warrior Project. They also clean up around town after parties,” said fraternity President Caleb Rowell.

St. Patrick’s Day was the day Greeno asked the brothers of Sigma Delta Chi to throw the party. They picked this night knowing college kids would show up in force.

The night was eventful, with an open bar for those of age and a dance floor that was jammed. But the party also included free rides back to campus to assure safety for students.

“The night was a success with our largest party at The Local to date. We reached maximum capacity, and did well for ourselves,” said Rowell.

The guys thought this could give the college students a place to party and have a great time in a controlled environment. The newest brother in Sigma Delta Chi, Harry Reed, came up with the idea of donating the money to Make-A-Wish. Whenever a new brother joins Sigma, he has to host a party and name a charity to donate some of the proceeds to. For Reed this was a quick and easy choice.

“I immediately chose The Make-A-Wish Foundation due to the fact that I had done service work with them in the past,” said Reed.

Sigma Delta Chi is expecting to be throwing parties monthly next year at The Local, and will be making more donations to worthy charities, leaders said.


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