CreateMyTee is trying something new—creating charity competitions.
On Nov. 3, CreateMyTee—a company run by four Albion alumni offering custom screen-printed apparel—announced the results of their first-ever Sigma Nu charity competition.
The competition, which ran Oct. 1-31, invited all the chapters of fraternity Sigma Nu to attract the largest number of voters to earn first place, which offered $5,000 to the winning chapter’s charity of choice and a concert for the college. Thirty-two of 36 registered Sigma Nu chapters participated in the competition, which recorded 21,150 votes.
First place went to the Epsilon Psi chapter from Westminster College and second to the Mu Chapter Kappa chapter from Southeast Missouri State University. The Gamma Gamma chapter of Albion College took third place, earning $500 for Jessie’s Gift, a local mentoring program in Albion, Mich.
“We received tremendous support throughout October from other students at Albion, which showed how closely knit our campus is,” said Michael Hall, Richland senior, student mentor and former Sigma Nu publicity chair. “We are also happy that we were able to inform more people about what Jessie’s Gift is.”
Jessie’s Gift, a mentoring program at Harrington Elementary School in Albion, began in 2000 and serves 160-175 students from second through fourth grade, said Peg Turner, coordinator of the program. Student mentors from the college meet face-to-face with elementary students and provide academic assistance.
“(The students) benefit from the support in terms of academic support, particularly if the child is struggling or needs support in a particular area,” Turner said. “The one-on-one attention is invaluable for them.”
The mentoring program gained the name Jessie’s Gift, after the family of Jessie Longhurst donated a bequest to the program after their daughter’s unexpected death. Longhurst had been heavily involved in the student mentoring program, Turner said.
Funding for the program comes from the Longhurst family’s endowment, a variety of grants and Albion Public Schools, as well as fundraising. The $500 awarded from the competition will go to buying supplies for special activities for the children in the program, including an annual end-of-year celebration, Turner said.
“(The experience) something that you can’t put a price tag on,” Turner said. “I think the college kids get satisfaction from it too, because if they didn’t they wouldn’t be as faithful and loyal as they are. They make a real commitment and follow through and do an incredible job.”
Heather Riecker, Dexter senior, who is one of two student representatives for CreateMyTee on Albion’s campus, helped to publicize the competition around the college. The competition will be continued and expanded in future years, Riecker said.
“I often ran around asking people if they’ve voted today, and we constantly updated the Facebook Groups with information about the competition,” Riecker said. “We helped the Sig Nus let the campus know what was going on, and let everyone know what a great philanthropy we were attempting to win the competition for.”
Graphic courtesy of CreateMyTee.