Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp) raised funds for the Hilltop Neighborhood House with their third annual SigEp Splash. The event took place last Saturday on the West Lawn and was orchestrated by the brothers of SigEp.
Hilltop House is a childcare center founded by the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity in 1995 and has been serving the low-income community of Valpo’s youth ever since. They provide year-round, full time childcare to children aged 6 weeks to 5 years old, food assistance and after school programs.
“In a normal year, where we can go there… we clean there, we’d be doing an event with some of the kids there,” said David Paul Schulze, Vice President of Programming. “That’s where all of our funds are going to.”
The event featured classic lawn games such as Tug-of-War, Balloon Toss and a Relay Race. It cost $20 to register a team that could consist of 4 to 5 people. SigEp Slash T-shirts were available for preorder as well.
Each event gave a number of points to the first, second, and third place winners, as well as the team with the most points. The Phi Sigma Kappa team was crowned champion.
Expecting a lowered turnout due to restrictions from COVID-19, the brothers at SigEp started a GoFundMe for the Hilltop House in the days leading up to the event. In addition to that, SigEp has partnered with local restaurants to offer discounts and raffle prizes for every student that mentions Hilltop as they placed their order, as well as an archetypal car wash.
“Usually the event itself raises us a lot of money, but this year we really couldn’t do that,” Schulze said. “So, we took a different approach where we tried to raise as much money before the event as we could.”
In order to protect attendees, SigEp encouraged those participating in the event to make teams of 4 or 5 that attendees know and trust to not attend the event if they turned unwell. They also kept attendance below the 100-person threshold due to university policy.
“For COVID, obviously the biggest precaution is we’re watching how many people we have at the event. I mean, [It is] technically 100 but we’re probably going to cap it around 80 or 90,” Schulze said. “The spectators will have some brothers who will be… making sure people will be spaced out.”
Despite the restrictions, Schulze said that he hopes the event was a success as it provided a fun activity to the community as well as raise a lot of money for the philanthropy.
“I’m hoping, more than anything else that we raise a lot of money first of all,” Schulze said, “and also that it’s just kind of a fun event. There’s not many events going on these days… I’m hoping it’s just kind of a fun time for some of the teams.”