The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity raised more than $12,000 for YouthAIDS through its Sweetheart Week fundraiser and celebration last week.
The fraternity holds Sweetheart week to show its appreciation for other Greek-letter chapters’ support of Sigma Phi Epsilon philanthropy activities.
“It was a time for the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon to show their gratitude towards the GW Community for its participation in their philanthropic efforts,” said Mike Rossetti, vice president of programming for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.
The event allowed members of the Greek-letter community to donate money to specific fraternity members. All funds raised went toward YouthAIDS, a program that promotes awareness and raises money for young AIDS patients. YouthAIDS is Sigma Phi Epsilon’s national philanthropy.
About 350 people participated in the event, many of whome were members of the University’s Panhellenic Association sororities.
“The sororities all participated equally – that shows that it was important,” said Steven Reardon, events chairman for Sweetheart Week. “It wasn’t really about competition and more that they were interested in helping us achieve our philanthropy goal.”
Although the event is called Sweetheart Week, Sigma Phi Epsilon members said the title it has nothing to do with the Greek tradition of naming a specific girl a fraternity’s “sweetheart.”
“It was just a cute name that we tagged on. It’s a nationally recognized idea, kind of dates back to older fraternity-sorority times. But the idea was that all girls who help out SigEp are SigEp sweethearts,” Rossetti said.
Though the primary purpose of Sweetheart Week is to raise money, Sigma Phi Epsilon also held fun events that got participants energized to participate in the week.
Raising money to help fight AIDS is significant for members of GW’s Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter because of GW’s location in D.C.
“It’s very important for everyone (in Sigma Phi Epsilon) just because we go to school in D.C., a place with a very high HIV/AIDS rate,” Rosetti said. “It’s not like we go to school in a sheltered community. We live in the city, so we want to help out any way we can.”