Delta Delta Delta sorority wins Turtle Derby
Turtle Swift, the racing turtle representing Delta Zeta sorority, won the final race of the day at the 57th annual Turtle Derby Saturday.
Phi Delta Theta fraternity holds the Turtle Derby every year during Moms’ Weekend as the house’s largest philanthropy event. During the Turtle Derby, University of Idaho sororities race turtles by placing them in the center of a large circle under a box in the street outside of Phi Delta Theta. When the race begins, the box is removed and competing sororities encourage their turtles to be the first to cross the edge of the circle.
Before each race, the teams introduced their turtles with a skit, singing or dancing. The turtle’s costume, the sorority’s presentation, the turtle’s finishing in various races and the sorority’s participation in the events leading up to Turtle Derby were all factors a panel of three judges considered to determine the overall winner of Turtle Derby, said Alex Rodriguez, co-chairman of Turtle Derby.
After three rounds of racing, judges declared Delta Delta Delta sorority the overall winner of Turtle Derby, with Kappa Alpha Theta in second and Kappa Kappa Gamma finishing in third.
Last year, as per tradition, the money raised went to the ALS Association. This year, however, the decision was made to find a different charity, Rodriguez said.
“The whole last year, with the whole Ice Bucket Challenge, they got so much money,” he said. “This year, we wanted to give back locally, so we contacted a couple places in town.”
After contacting multiple local charities, Rodriguez said Moscow’s Milestone Decisions Inc. was selected because they were the only ones who responded to inquiries. Milestone Decisions is a local, nonprofit assisted living community that provides care for retired people, mentally disabled adults and other people who require assistance.
The absence of a rabbit caused another break from Turtle Derby tradition. Normally, one race held during Turtle Derby features a turtle from Phi Delta Theta racing a rabbit from Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), said Matt Siron, co-chairman of Turtle Derby. However, a last minute cancellation from FIJI led to the race being cancelled, he said.
“We were pretty disappointed,” Siron said. “We like to include everyone on campus with Turtle Derby.”
Overall, the Derby raised approximately $4,000 to donate to Milestone Decisions. Money raised came from donations from sponsors, a penny war conducted between sororities before Turtle Derby, Turtle Derby T-shirt sales, other donations and items auctioned off at the event. Auction items included couches to sit on during the event, the right to throw a pie at the face of any member of Phi Delta Theta and gift baskets provided by competing sororities and sponsors.
Overall, Siron said the men of Phi Delta Theta were pleased with the turnout and weather for Turtle Derby. He said the moms in attendance seemed to enjoy the event.
Aleya Ericson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org