Ryan Chartrand

Greek Week is in full swing at Cal Poly. The week kicked off Thursday at University Union Hour with local band Still Time, and Sunday when each of the Greek Week teams participated in Beach Day at Pismo Beach.

“It was a huge success,” said Anton de Leon, Co-chair of the Interfraternity Council Greek Week.

Teams competed in sand volleyball and did a beach cleanup to close the day. The week is a competition between eight teams made up of four to six fraternities and sororities, The Cultural Greek Council, the Panhelllenic Association and the Interfraternity Council.

Team members compete in events during the week to earn points for their team.

Greek week is an annual event that promotes philanthropy and Greek organizations at Cal Poly, officials said.

“The main focus of Greek Week is to showcase the Greek community’s work in a positive way for the community,” de Leon said.

This year, each of the eight teams will raise money for the Cal Poly Wheelchair Foundation. The on-campus chapter of the international organization founded by philanthropist Kenneth Behring provides wheelchairs to communities around the world.

Each team’s goal is to raise enough money to purchase 100 wheelchairs, which cost $75 each. This year, the foundation will send the wheelchairs and aid to Malawi, Africa.

“Our goal this year was to work with an organization that already does philanthropy,” said Josh Burroughs, Project Manager of the Cal Poly Wheelchair Foundation and a business senior. The foundation started meeting with the Greek Council during fall quarter to organize this year’s fundraising, Burroughs said.

“We thought it was a good way for us to interact,” said Sameer Pangrekar, Co-chair of the IFC Greek Week, of the joint effort.

Each team has organized a philanthropic event at a local restaurant to raise money for the foundation, and has sent out letters asking for donations, he said.

For the team that raises the most funds and exceeds its fundraising goal, two representatives will be sent by the Wheelchair Foundation’s Angel Program to China or Mexico to aid in a wheelchair distribution. Hotel accommodations and all expenses are paid for by the Angel Program, and the representatives will be flown to their destination on Behring’s private jet.

“Something new we’re doing this year is an Academic Decathlon. It’s going to be a Jeopardy / Family Feud style competition,” Pangrekar said.

Teams will compete Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in a trivia game that covers topics like the 2008 presidential campaign, “Greek 101” and general knowledge questions.

Other events for Greek Week include a lip sync contest on Thursday, which doubles as a canned and non-perishable food drive, de Leon said. To get in to the lip sync, you have to bring two canned foods, he said.

The canned foods collected Thursday night will be used in an art exhibit on Friday then donated to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.

“This year we’re doing a canned food art competition,” Pangrekar said. Each team will build a “canned food castle” or create a piece of art by arranging the canned goods they collected.

The contest will be held on the lawn in front of the English building, and the exhibit will be up all day Friday.

The blue team and the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority currently lead the competition.

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