Huntsman Cancer Institute
On April 12, 2013, Sigma Chi members presented the one-millionth dollar raised for cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute to Significant Sig and Order of Constantine Sig Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., PENNNSYLVANIA 1959. In December 2012, Sigma Chi designated the Huntsman Cancer Foundation as its sole preferred philanthropic partner.
Founded by Huntsman, the Huntsman Cancer Institute is dedicated to finding the causes of cancer, developing new and better treatments, and preventing people from ever developing cancer. Huntsman founded HCI to focus on understanding cancer from its very beginnings and to translate this knowledge into safer and more effective treaments. HCI was chosen as Sigma Chi's preferred philanthropy because many Sigs and their families have been directly affected by cancer, the second-leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, men have an approximate lifetime risk of 1:2 for developing the disease; for women, the risk is 1:3.
The Derby Challenge
The Jon M. Huntsman Sr. family has donated more than $400 million to cancer-related initiatives since the commencement of HCI in 1995. He now challenges his brothers to aid in his efforts through the Derby Challenge.
The Derby Challenge is an online competition between Sigma Chi chapters, the women's fraternities and sororities on each campus raising funds for research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The Challenge expands the traditional, local concept of Derby Days to include an international fundraising arm that allows persons physically present for the event a way of contributing to the philanthropic cause. Through derbychallenge.org, Sigma Chi chapters and the participating teams on their respective campuses manage their own webpages where they set visible fundraising goals, collect donations, track progress and send family and friends a secure link through which they can make a donation. The Derby Challenge runs annually, with chapter winners announced at Balfour Leadership Training Workshop. Past winners include:
- University of Utah - Beta Eta Chapter: $22,799.09
- University of Chicago - Omicron Omicron Chapter: $16,836.38
- Boston University - Iota Upsilon Chapter: $14,790.85
- University of Houston - Epsilon Xi Chapter: $14,705.00
- Loyola University Chicago - Lambda Nu Chapter: $9,353.00
2012 (inaugural year; web site donations only)
- Boston University - Iota Upsilon Chapter: $16,244.21
- University of Connecticut - Gamma Omega Chapter: $11,256.50
- Washington & Lee University - Zeta Chapter: $2,229.00
All donations must have an accompanying note indicating the chapter name affiliated with the donation to be credited to the Derby Challenge. Donation's made through the website automatically add to the chapter's page. For help with this web site, please contact Jen Murano-Tucker at (801) 584-5815. Please see the resources page for videos, fundraising templates and a how-to guide.
Brick pavers are placed in the Walk of Hope between the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Huntsman Cancer Hospital for chapters raising $1,000 or more. Sigs tour this area every year when they visit while participating in HORIZONS. All chapter donations more than $1,000 trigger the creation of a brick for the chapter, which is created automatically. If you want to make a donation for other bricks in the Sigma Chi section, please contact Julie Anderson at (801) 584-5881.
As of July 2013, Sigma Chi alumni and undergraduate chapters have raised more than $1,250,000 benefiting research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Merlin Olsen Day of Service
The Merlin Olsen Day of Service, held annually on Sept. 15, honors the philanthropic spirit of Order of Constantine Sig, Significant Sig and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Merlin Olsen, UTAH STATE 1962. The Fraternity encourages its members to honor Olsen, a longtime spokesman for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, by volunteering on this day to improve their communities. Suggested activities include donating blood, volunteering at local schools and cleaning up local public parks.