The Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity at Grand Valley State University established the Red Cross River Dash in 2014. In a recent effort to improve our philanthropy efforts, this event was created. This year, our chapter was able to raise $11,620 for our national philanthropy, the American Red Cross, while completing the 120 mile canoe trip down the AuSable River an entire day early. The trip itself took place May 14-16, 2015. Each night, we set up camp right alongside the river, where we cooked food and rested for the next day.
We had 12 brothers attend this year’s trip, while nine canoed on the river, and three became support crew (set up camp, cooked food, drove alongside the river with supplies,etc.). With businesses donating to our efforts, as well as friends and family, we were able to see this event succeed.
The Red Cross River Dash means a lot to my chapter, and to myself as an individual. This event is an opportunity for my fraternity brothers and myself to give back to the community, and help others understand that Greek life is not the negative stereotype recently seen in our society. For a lot of us, dare I say most of us, we genuinely want to help the community and make a positive impact on others. I’d like to believe this doesn’t just apply to my chapter, or my university – but for Greek life seen at all of our nation’s universities. If we look past the negative media, there is evidence that supports this idea.
As I go into my senior year at Grand Valley State University, I feel confident that once I graduate, this event will continue to grow. I’m incredibly excited to see how the Red Cross River Dash will influence the community, and how it will influence my brothers as well. The American Red Cross has truly been a pleasure to work with, and I feel very privileged to have them as my fraternity’s national philanthropy.