Life Of A Philanthropy Chair

Around this time last year, I was preparing my speech to run for philanthropy chair for this current year. I was nervous and excited because I knew of all the fun ideas that I had and wanted to try. Luckily for me, the chapter believed in me and chose me as their philanthropy chair for the 2014-2015 year! One of the many things I enjoy about being philanthropy chair is finding new ideas and trying them out. The hardest thing for people to do is except change. Although this was one of the biggest challenges I faced, it turned out to be worth all the hard work and time that was put into these events. We had a lot of events this year, so sit back and enjoy what all we have accomplished!

The first big event of the year was Duck Soup Softball. This event was a rather interesting one, with an unusual name. In each inning, there were different rules that each team had to follow. These included running the bases backwards, batting with the opposite hand, and picking a random position to play. At this event, we provided a BBQ lunch. The winner of tournament won gift cards to a variety of locations around Manhattan. In total, we raised over $450 for North Central Kansas Down Syndrome Society and the Great Guild of Kansas City. By donating to these organizations, we were able to support a local faculty member at KSU and help smaller Kansas areas. At the end of the day, the tournament turned out to be great! We were able to relax and bond as sisters. Also, it was great getting to know some of the other people that are in the agriculture world on campus.

The second largest event that was held is the annual Dodgeball Tournament during Ag Fest week held by Ag Council. This year was by the far the best year we had! We had double the teams from last year; 7 to 13 teams. With the help of Rustin in Ag Council, Jamie as Campus Rep, and myself, we were able to get the word out and get people involved. This year, we were had clubs sign up that have never participated in Sigma Alpha’s events. It was an awesome feeling walking into the gym seeing it lined with players ready to play some dodgeball! The games lastly a mere 2 hours and then the winners were announced. For the second year in a row, Farmhouse came out on top. They were awarded a certificate and a bunch of $15 gift cards donated by Ag Council. Also, since this year we had a lot of newcomers that took it upon themselves to come up with some really clever and creative names, I created the “Most Creative Name” Award. This award was presented to the “Untouchaballs”. They enjoyed the award even though they didn’t win. This year, we received a lot of great feedback and I can’t wait to see what happens next year with more people knowing. Next year, we will have to try and beat $780, which was donated to Farm Rescue.

These were just a few of the bigger ones that we did for this year. The other events included Ag in the Classroom, donating cans to the local food pantry, collecting aluminum cans, kiddie barnyard, BBQ luncheon, Give Thanks to Ag Day, and Highway Cleanup. Granted, there were some hard lessons learned with some of these, as some didn’t raise that much money or there wasn’t that much participation. With each event, I grew, and I knew what to do differently or keep the same for the upcoming event.

I’m not going to lie, this year has definitely been full of ups and downs. I have learned the difficulty of organizing events and being in charge of 60 woman. There have been many times where I thought about throwing in the towel because nothing seemed to be going in the right direction. However, I am so glad I didn’t. Yes there was a lot of tears shed, but there have also been a lot of smiles and laughs along the way. There is so much relief and joy after completing an event that you have worked so hard on, that everyone enjoyed, and raised a lot of money. That is what matters. Building relationships along the way and giving back to the community and the world around us.

I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to be philanthropy chair for this year! It was a complete adventure and I couldn’t have done it without my sisters and advisors. Thank you all!

In Sisterhood,

Bailey Aiken

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