Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lambda Chi Leads Campus in "Watermelon Bust"

Flying watermelons! The University of New Orleans campus was a colorful sight on Saturday as Greek fraternities and sororities clad in team colors flung watermelons and participated in a field day of events in support of the UNO chapter of Lambda Chi fraternity and a national effort to raise money for a food bank.

"Every fall we have our Watermelon Bust," said Garrett Stapp, Lamba Chi chapter president at UNO. "It's a week-long philanthropy effort. Each sorority participates."

All week sorority sisters from the University's four sororities collected pennies in the University Center for a penny drive connected to Lambda Chi's Watermelon Bust. The week culminated in three hours of fun on the quad on Saturday, when the sisterhoods busted their guts aiming to be the week's Watermelon Bust champions.

Saturday's field events included a watermelon relay; an over-under crab walk which required participants to crab-walk while carrying a large watermelon across their stomachs; wheelbarrow races; a watermelon-eating competition; sorority skit competitions; match-up songs; a food drive and lunch.

Sororities also operated stations in different places around the campus quad for three hours, decorating tables, creating banners and carving watermelons for prizes and spirit points.

For days, fraternity brothers smash watermelons for the week's banner event, said Stapp, and after lunch on Saturday, sorority sisters competed in a tug-of-war competition over a pit of ice cold watermelon. It's messy business, Stapp said, but loads of fun.

The UNO chapter of Sigma Kappa sorority won the week-long competition, raising the most money for Feeding America, a food bank in Pennsylvania, Stapp said.

Every dollar raised allows the food bank to purchase of 50 pounds of food, according to a conversion rate provided by Feeding America. Sigma Kappa raised $880 or 49,000 pounds of food, said Stapp. Altogether the weeklong Watermelon Bust on campus helped Lambda Chi and partners to raise money for about 175,000 pounds of food that will feed underserved populations.

"Every year we place in the top 10 of all the Lambda Chi chapters in the country," said Stapp of the University's Lambda Chi chapter. "For the last three years, we have placed in the 'Top Three' nationally and we expect to again this year."