Hugs for ‘Hope’: Lambda Chi raises money for Hope Harbor

Kayla Boyd

Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity has once again pulled out all the stops for their philanthropy event.

This year, the fraternity added a partnership with Griff’s Deli, according to Glasgow junior Collins Garst, vice president of Lambda Chi.

Garst said the deli agreed to donate 10 percent of Monday’s proceeds to Hope Harbor.

Hope Harbor is the organization to which Lambda Chi donates all of the money they raise throughout the year.

Johnny Douglas, of Bowling Green, has been Lambda Chi’s chapter adviser for eight years. He also serves as a board member for Hope Harbor.

Douglas said Hope Harbor is a sexual abuse trauma recovery center for men and women. The non-profit crisis counseling center relies on grants, state funding and national funding to cover their expenses.

Lambda Chi’s philanthropy week had daily fundraising activities Monday through Thursday.

On Tuesday night, the fraternity hosted their annual Watermelon Bust Pageant. The entry fee was $3 or five canned goods. Lambda Chi raised more than $1,000 at the event to be put toward their philanthropy.

Ten girls from seven sororities competed in three categories – letter wear, watermelon wear and formal wear – along with a question section.The Downing Student Union Auditorium, where the pageant was held, was packed with girls there to support their sisters.

Three judges, including Douglas and WKU’s mascot, Big Red, determined the winner.

Douglas, who is a retired teacher, said the work Hope Harbor does to protect people is important to him and the community.

“Looking out at the crowd, the only guys (at our pageant) were from Lambda Chi,” he said. “Most of those who came were sorority girls. Who among this group will be sexually abused?”

That’s what makes the work easier, said Douglas.

“You don’t know which girls in the group will be abused one day, or the girls who have been already and are too scared to say it,” he said.

Garst said although the Watermelon Bust Pageant raised more than $1,000, Lambda Chi hopes to donate more than $1,500 to Hope Harbor from all of the fundraisers throughout their philanthropy week.

Beyond the donations from Griff’s on Monday night and the Watermelon Bust Pageant on Tuesday night, Lambda Chi hosted a volleyball tournament at their house on Wednesday. Tonight, the last night of festivities, includes a cookout at the house.

“We’ll have a watermelon eating contest, seed spitting contest, watermelon drink creation and watermelon smashing contest,” Garst said.

The volleyball tournament and the cookout both raise money from entry fees and selling food.

Douglas said the fraternity typically donates between $2,000 and $4,000 to Hope Harbor each year from various fundraisers.

“Hope Harbor is there anytime of the day or night if you need them,” said Douglas. “They could be on a call right now and there is someone there to help an individual that’s been sexually abused.”