Sorority dance competition benefits diabetes camp

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 2:53 p.m.

Sixteen University of Florida sororities will dance Wednesday in the SigEp Surf Frenzy competition at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.



When: Wednesday, Oct. 3. Doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts 7:30 p.m.
Where: Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Cost: $7

The event raises money for children who attend Teen Weekend at the Florida Diabetes Camp, where attendees are encouraged to bring a friend who doesn’t have Type 1 diabetes to educate the friend.

Gary Cornwell, director of the camp, said the donations from Sigma Phi Epsilon pay for use of the campgrounds and for meals on Teen Weekend in January and help with costs for summer camp. Whatever money is left over goes to scholarships for children in the summer.

Cornwell said the fraternity has been supporting the camp since 2007.

Carlos Gordian, president of the Florida Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the competition has brought in more than $150,000 to help fund the camp. Money is raised through tickets to the event, T-shirts and donations.

“It’s the best thing we do as a chapter,” he said.

Cornwell said the fraternity became involved with the camp after one of the brothers worked with a doctor there.

The name of the competition is based on a surfing competition that began in the 1980s, Gordian said. It raised money for the Surfrider Foundation, a program to protect the ocean and beaches.

In past years the competition was held downtown at a venue that held about 1,200. This year it is in the Phillips Center, which holds about 1,700.

The winning sorority receives a half-sized surfboard “and bragging rights,” Gordian said.

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