May 03, 2011
Beckham A. Stanley '13
In southern Louisiana, spicy seafood and live music draw huge crowds. The same rang true on the Hill this spring as Sigma Nu's Eta Pi Chapter opened Greek Week with a straight-from-Louisiana crayfish boil. Amidst rain, mud, and cajun seasoning, nearly 200 students, professors, parents, and faculty came to grub what native Louisianians call "tiny lobsters." Despite the dreary weather, the event raised over $1,600 for SHARC (Sigma-Nu/Hampden-Sydney Animal Rescue).
Under the leadership of Sigma Nu brothers John Sharp and Luke Hargroder, who began planning the event in early January, members of the Hampden-Sydney community were served a unique flavor foreign to most Virginians. "I never knew how delicious crayfish could be," remarked Mikey Toy, a rising sophomore. Native to freshwater streams, crayfish are widely considered a delicacy and are best served with cajun seasoning, potatoes, onions, and bell peppers.
Hargroder, a native of Louisiana, sought to incorporate the boil into Greek Week while Sharp expanded the event to include the philanthropy aspect for the SHARC program. Since 2007, SHARC has helped rescue an impressive number of pets and is undergoing further growth here on campus. In fact, many H-SC, Longwood, and Farmville families are now happy owners of SHARC dogs and cats.
Sigma Nu brothers are also working to create a website that the SHARC program can utilize to reach out to the greater Farmville community. "I think a web search for local animal lovers will get a lot more pets adopted," says Watt Mountcastle, a rising junior and brother of Sigma Nu. In addition, SHARC will have their own house next year where they can foster and train dogs awaiting adoption. They may even have their first assignment: training a dog to be a live-in pet at a local nursing home.
The proceeds from the boil will go toward improvements to the new SHARC house. "We at Sigma Nu are excited to watch these donations be used to build kennels that will be on site at the SHARC house and provide housing for the abused and abandoned dogs that SHARC will focus on nurturing and domesticicating this upcoming fall," said Sharp.
In the meantime, the Hampden-Sydney community can look forward to more Greek-oriented philanthropy events. Following the boil, the Inter-Fraternity Council held a cookout that raised nearly $700 for Japan Relief projects. Zach Marino, a rising sophomore from Richmond, is optimistic about the future of Greek Life at Hampden-Sydney. "I can't imagine a better way to have fun while raising money for charity," he said. The event certainly set the bar for Greek-funded philanthropic ventures. It is the responsibility of the whole Greek community to surpass it.