Community Involvement and Philanthropy
A dedication to service and philanthropy is one of many ways in which Beta Theta Pi stands out on the Ole Miss campus. The chapter participates in numerous philanthropies and service projects each semester, ranging from small on-campus events to community-wide service collaborations.
Community service and outreach are both important core values of the ideal Beta Theta Pi fraternity man. Each member of the Beta Beta chapter completes a minimum of eight community service hours per semester, and some brothers obtain as many as 300 hours. This allows for brothers to become more connected on their campus while also giving back to their community.
In the Fall of 2014, the chapter organized the "Bark After Dark" philanthropy to benefit the Oxford Humane Society. This event, which was hosted in The Grove at the heart of the Ole Miss campus, provided Beta with a stepping stone toward hosting similar events in the future.
This past spring semester the Beta Beta chapter revamped the chapter's philanthropy. In April we held our first annual, "Dodge for a Cause" philanthropy event supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. On the Tuesday (April 18) of our philanthropy week we hosted a Beta Lemonade stand where we served our famous and delicious Beta Lemonade that is served during rounds of formal rush. Each Beta Lemonade drink costed $1, and through the Beta Lemonade stand we raised $567.
On the Wednesday (April 19) of our philanthropy week we held "Dodge for a Cause," a dodgeball tournament held in C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum where 13 organizations participated in our bracket-style tournament. Through the Beta Lemonade stand, "Dodge for a Cause" t-shirt sales, donations and the dodgeball tournament itself we raised $5,000 to help fight Cystic Fibrosis, which is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. "We chose to back the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because one of our brothers is close to someone affected by this disease, and after the chapter heard his story we got behind the idea," said philanthropy chairman Richard Wygonik.
Spearheaded by Brother Gardner Merithew, this spring the Beta Beta chapter of Beta Theta Pi teamed with the Relay For Life of Ole Miss in efforts to raise money towards cancer research. Many of us are affected in one way or another by the atrocity of cancer. The Relay for Life is a national event that commemorates and honors those affected by the adversity of cancer. The Beta Beta chapter set an initial goal of $3,000 but demolished it by raising $6,105, placing first of 21 teams in the Lafayette-Oxford-University community.
Through our chapter's philanthropic efforts in the 2017 spring semester we raised a total of $11,105, a Beta Beta chapter record!
For questions or inquiries regarding philanthropy and service involvement, please feel free to contact the Philanthropy Chairman.