On Oct. 16 Mercer’s Panhellenic Council hosted the High Heel Race, its first philanthropic event of the semester. Non-Greek and Greek male participants paid $5 to $10 and raced up the street near Porter Patch wearing high heels. The first person to cross the finish line won a $30 gift card to Margaritas. The Panhellenic Council also hosted a raffle drawing that gave away prizes donated from Macon’s local businesses. The council raised $130, which they donated to Crisis Line and Safe House, a Macon shelter for battered women.
Mercer students lined the street as three young men wearing white tube stocks with glittery high heels lined up for the race. “I am excited about this. It should be funny,” said Panhellenic’s Director of Programming, Suzannah Griffin. Before the race, Panhellenic Advisor, Cindy Drury, gathered and warned the participants about the uneven concrete. Student spectators unanimously agreed that the race could potentially be dangerous. “I think a few people will fall,” said Junior Daniel Dupree. However, the Panhellenic council took necessary precautions to insure everyone’s safety, “Luckily, we have an EMT with a radio…just as a precaution,” said Drury.
After the count down from the crowd, a pair of black stilettos, sparkly strapped-heels, and wedges hobbled towards the finish line. The winner, Philip Flynn, donned a pair of wedges. “I just wanted to raise money for Panhellenic’s philanthropy and help out, ” said Flynn. “I thought I was going to eat it,” commented Flynn when he was asked if he was worried about falling. Flynn said he planned to use the gift card to take his girlfriend out on a date.
The Panhellenic Council, which oversees the four sororities in Mercer University, hosts two philanthropic events each semester. When Drury read recruitment brochures from other universities, she noticed other Panhellenic councils hosted women high heel race competitions for philanthropy. Instead of women racing, Drury thought having male participants race in heels would be more fun.
Although the Panhellenic council wanted the High Heel Race to be entertaining, giving back to the community took chief prominence, “One of the philosophies and goals of Panhellenic, as in most Greek chapters, is philanthropy…we wanted to set a good example to the four chapters that the council as a whole was supporting philanthropy not just the individual chapters,” said Drury. The money that is donated to the shelter gives impoverished women basic living necessities.
According to the National Panhellenic mission statement, the goal of the council is “to create unanimity of thought and action.”
Sarah Richardson, director of Scholarship and Delegate for Alpha Delta Pi, shared in an interview that hosting the event allowed her to bond with girls from other sororities. “You get to know a lot of people and just see more of Mercer’s campus, which allows you to get out of a bubble,” said Richardson.
Although the number of participants for the race was limited, the council hopes to continue the High Heel Race as a Panhellenic Mercer tradition. “I’m hoping this is something we can continue for the next several years and hopefully will get bigger and bigger,” said Richardson.
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