In May of 2011, the Epsilon Gamma chapter at the University of Maryland made a splash on campus with it's newest Signature Event called Kid Power Field Day. After years of successfully hosting Virgin Party, a non-alcoholic social on Maryland's campus, the chapter decided to refocus energy on the community in 2010.
Wanting to make a direct, hands-on impact on youth and a positive turn around, the Epsilon Gamma chapter teamed up with Kid Power Inc., which is a local non-profit organization that provides educational programming as well as artistic, nutritional, and service-learning opportunities for underserved youth in Washington D.C.
"They [Kid Power] really focus on teaching these kids how to give back to the community… what leadership is," said Chapter President Andy Civetti, Maryland '09. "This is right in line with what we are about."
After a year of tutoring and raising $4,000, the Maryland Taus hosted a field day event to end the school year. With the help of 22 Greek organizations, 130 kids enjoyed the day, being a 'kid.'
"ATO has been really dynamic, they've been great leaders," said Kid Power Programming Director Andria Hollis. "They work almost weekly with our students helping them with homework and academics."
"It's very fun and it's positive energy," said Tiara, a Kid Power participant. "It's nice to get out, get some exercise, you know, play games."
Each Greek organization had a booth of games for the kids ranging from tug-of-war competitions to throwing whipped cream pies in faces.
"It really is impactful," said Civetti. "It makes the brothers feel like kids again. It makes the kids feel like kids."
Instead of focusing on parties and other distractions, the Maryland ATOs dedicated their own time and energy to children who need positive role models. Two short years later, they've developed a new Signature Event that better reflects the chapter's focus and priorities.
"What is the point of a Signature Event," said Civetti. "There's got to be passion in the brotherhood. There's got to be a purpose for the community. And there's got to be some kind of vision for expansion."