Sigma Chi takes a swing for charity

A University fraternity packed a big punch for its charity event this year.

Sigma Chi, which has 38 members, had its annual Fight Night on Monday night in the Houston Room, University Center Underground, and was able to raise $6,000, Thomas Monroe, a mechanical engineering junior and Sigma Chi’s risk management officer, said.

T-shirt sales were $15 while tickets were priced at $10. All proceed went to the Children’s Miracle Network.

"We do this to support the CMN, all the proceeds are donated to them," said hotel restaurant management junior and Sigma Chi member Brian Saxenian. "All the chapters of the fraternity, all Greeks or anyone else on campus that wants to be involved are invited."

CMN is an international non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for more than 170 children’s hospitals throughout North America, according to a press release.

Seven students from Oxford, Ohio’s Miami University, founded Sigma Chi in 1855. The UH Chapter of Sigma Chi, which was founded in 1956, has made Fight Night an annual event for more than 30 years.

"The Ultimate Fighting Championship is growing, and boxing has always been popular," Saxenian said. "It is good to see the turnout we had. The event is always a good time for all."

Fight Night is funded through fraternity dues, and previous fundraising events, Saxenian said.

"It was a lively event," anthropology senior Jaime Olmo said. "The fighting was amateur, but they all put a lot of heart into it."

Fight Night featured ring girls, professional officials, music, refreshments and 10 three-round bouts in front of a crowd of about 500.

The opening fight featured fellow Sigma Chi members squaring off. Monroe was victorious over hotel and restaurant management junior Andrew Soliz.

"I got a little excited when I knocked him down in the first round," Soliz said. "It was a good fight, though. I was just a little out of shape."

For Monroe, the overall event was a rewarding one.

"Fight Night was just a whole lot of fun on top of helping the charity."

With the weeks leading up to the fights, other members also took formal boxing training.

"I started training some of the fighters five weeks before the event," said Willy Boyd, head trainer of Ringers Boxing Club. "(Five weeks) is such a short-time to prepare for a fight – especially since these kids are fighting for the first time, so they just learned the basics."

One fighter came into Fight Night with previous experience in a different style of fighting, representing the College Republicans.

"I’ve fought previously for Fit Gym, I usually do mixed-martial arts," said political science junior Kelly Waterman. "But I could not pass up this opportunity to have a fight on campus."

Other fraternities and sororities were on hand, such as pledges from Phi Mu.

"The money goes to the same philanthropic organization (CMN), so we are here to lend support," said business sophomore Dawn Winston.

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