This fall, fraternities and sororities at the College of Charleston marshaled their talents to raise funds for important causes. The Panhellenic Association raised $3,122 for the Circle of Sisterhood, an organization that aims to remove educational barriers for women around the world. The fraternity and sorority community also hosted its annual Pep Supper, which raised in excess of $54,000 to support the Lowcountry Food Bank.

“These types of philanthropic activities are ingrained in the students we work with,” says Sarah Jane Franciscus, director of Higdon Center for Student Leadership and Fraternity & Sorority Life. “They offer a valuable learning experience for our students while also supporting causes throughout Charleston and the world.”

The Battle of the Bands fundraiser featured four groups, each with at least one CofC student in the ensemble. (Photos provided)

Early in October, the Panhellenic Association staged a Battle of the Bands fundraiser, which featured four different bands, each with at least one CofC student in the ensemble. Claire Walter, a senior who is also the vice president of philanthropy and service for the Panhellenic Association, dreamed up the idea for this fundraiser.

“My main goal,” Walter said afterward, “was to spread awareness about the Panhellenic’s philanthropic beneficiary – the Circle of Sisterhood. I came up with the battle of the bands idea early in the semester, and before I knew it, everything I had imagined for the event was becoming reality. Ultimately, we raised over $3,000. Now, I’m confident that the Circle of Sisterhood has a strong foundation to flourish on our campus.”

The bands that performed that evening included Nathan & Eva, Grey Ally, Slim Finesse and Eighty Seven Nights. The grand prize winner Eighty Seven Nights will be the opening act for Cougarpalooza in April 2019.

Students Dylan Neal, Taylor Canty and Katie Schmarder organized this year’s Pep Supper event.

Also in October, sororities and fraternities on campus hosted their annual Pep Supper dance competition to raise money and collect donations for the Lowcountry Food Bank. Junior Dylan Neal, special events chair for the Interfraternity Council, and seniors Taylor Canty, second vice president for the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Katie Schmarder, vice president for programming with the Panhellenic Association, were the key organizers.

This year, they chose cinema as their theme, requiring that each competing organization incorporate the soundtrack from a movie into their dances and use that overall theme in the design of their banners and costumes.

The students who participated raised more than $54,000 and amassed 2,930 pounds of food. Together, those figures translate into more than 327,162 meals for the individuals and families across 10 South Carolina counties who are served by the Lowcountry Food Bank.

“I was truly amazed by the level of student engagement and caring that our Greek community demonstrated during Pep Supper 2018,” said Schmarder. “Our combined efforts, in partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank, have tripled the level of engagement from last year. As a result, over 327,000 meals can be distributed to the greater community!”

Featured image: Members of Kappa Alpha Theta put on a choreographed routine during the 2018 Pep Supper event.