Jul 17, 2019
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Sorority fights for ‘2nd base’

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During the “Save Second Base” breast cancer awareness activities, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity participates in the bra challenge. Khlarissa Agee/ The Collegian

The Sigma Alpha sorority had its annual philanthropy event Saturday for Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer research and awareness foundation.
The event was held on the kinesiology baseball diamond and their theme for this year was “Save 2nd Base.”

“We always pick a theme that’s mostly a play on words because it grabs people’s attention. In the past we’ve have also done ‘Save a Rack’ and ‘Hoot for Hooters,’” said Jessica Rinaldi, president of Sigma Alpha.

A total of eight fraternities participated this Saturday, including Kappa Sigma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Alpha Gamma Rho. Each fraternity paid $100 to participate in the events. After signing up, teams purchased tank tops for friends and team members for $15. All the proceeds went to Susan G. Komen for a Cure.

“Last year for ‘Save a Rack’ we rose over $1,000, and the year before that we raised over $500. Our goal for this year is to at least raise $2,000,” Rinaldi said.
Sigma Alpha collected $1,068 for the Susan G. Komen for a Cure Foundation.

“I know we kind of like to joke around about it, but I think wholeheartedly we all are really about it. It affects one in eight women so I think it’s kind of something that’s touched all of our lives in some way,” Rinaldi said.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cause of death. Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.

Fresno State junior and member of Sigma Alpha, Katelyn Williams, had a close family friend diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.

“She had to have two surgeries to remove tumors and several radiation sessions. Being away at college made it difficult to be with her. I could only lift her and her family in prayer and visit when I was in town,” Williams said. “It was hard to see her go through this as I saw my father go through cancer surgeries along with chemo and radiation treatments. She is now cancer free. I’m trying to educate others and myself about breast cancer now. Early detection is very important.”

The event involved fraternities on campus, which participated in individual team competitions leading up to the main relay race called “Bull Run”.

The winner of the event is based off points. There are competitions leading up to the Bull Run that teams can participate in to gain more points, like doing favors for the girls of Sigma Alpha to get horse shoes and selling breast cancer awareness ribbons.

“Each sister has a horse shoe that we decorate, and the brothers have to do a favor for us in order to get it. Jessica had Kappa Sigma and Sigma Phi Epsilon decorate their booths with as much pink as they possibly can for breast cancer,” said Sigma Alpha philanthropy chair Nikki Alessi. “The booth who does the best job will get her horse shoe.”

“In the past we would have the brothers do funny, little favors like sing us a song or talk about Sigma Alpha to someone, but this year we’re gearing it more toward the whole breast cancer theme,” Rinaldi said.

“The week before the event we also had the boys sell breast cancer awareness ribbons for at least $1 each, and those proceeds are also donated,” Alessi said.
She said the event is called “Bull Run” because the sorority’s mascot is a bull. Sigma Alpha is a sorority with a social emphasis as well as an emphasis in agriculture.

“Whether it’s our major or what our long term career goals are, we’re all involved in agriculture, so our sorority is a little different than the other sororities on campus.” Rinaldi said. “There’s only about 34 of us so we’re pretty small but mighty.”

The day of the Bull Run, there were competitions before the relay race.

“One of the competitions is for having the best ‘rack.’ One member of each team has to dress up like a woman, and whoever has the best ‘rack’ wins. We also are going to have breast cancer trivia questions while they model their outfits to get more points,” Alessi said. “It’s a really good way for them to actually learn the risks and facts about breast cancer.”

The teams competing in the relay on the baseball diamond performed a series of tasks to advance to each base. The tasks included crab walking while popping pink balloons, unhooking a succession of bras and “motor-boating” a fellow teammate between their balloon breasts to find a breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Other competitions included a tug of war as well as a goat milking competition. The top three winners with the highest points won trophies and a bra decorated in pink glitter and feathers. This year’s first place winner was Sigma Chi.

The sorority is also looking forward to participating in the Susan G. Koman Race for a Cure run/fitness walk at Fresno State on October 26th.

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