1,500 participate in annual Beta 500 race

Dmitry Bulgakov and Dmitry Bulgakov

Beta 500 was held on campus Saturday, with Sigma Phi Epsilon winning the fraternity race and Kappa Kappa Gamma taking the sorority title in the annual push-cart event sponsored by Beta Theta Pi.

According to organizers there were roughly 1,500 people from 11 fraternities and 16 sororities attending the Beta 500 push-cart races.

“It’s important for the Greeks, it’s important as philanthropy,” said Scott Pesta, one of the organizers from Beta Theta Pi. “We raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Northwest Ohio. Last year we donated $2,000. We have ad-book sales, donations from outside sources like alumni and parents and have sold food to raise money.”

Justin Greeder of Beta Theta Pi said that the money collected is not yet counted, but it will be calculated within next few days. Currently, Beta 500 is one of the largest philanthropy events on campus.

“We are excited. That is always a fun event to get all brothers together,” said Ryan Uehlein of Kappa Alpha, who was an at the race. “We like to be with everybody else.”

“It’s a big event — basically every fraternity and every sorority comes here,” Greeder said. “We are raising more and more [money] each year, we have a bigger turnout, and we have more people competing this year. Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity, raced for the first time today, a couple others haven’t done [it] in the past couple years, and [this year] they came back and did it. So we have more participants this year.”

Beta 500, among other philanthropies on campus put on by fraternities and sororities, is one of those that evolved into a big event.

“It gets bigger and bigger, and all campus gets into it. We have had support from some sponsors like McDonalds, Pepsi,” Greeder said.

“We are participating in it every year,” said Melissa Dalek and Jessi Young from Alpha Gamma Delta, cheering before the race. “We have trained a lot so we are going to win.”

According to Josh Franklin of Beta Theta Pi, the name for this push cart race is derived from the biggest Indy Car race — the Indianapolis 500 — and Beta Theta Pi, the fraternity in charge of the event.

“It’s been going on for 40 years, so everybody pretty much knows about it, knows what it is, knows to be here this weekend,” Franklin said. “So we don’t really have to do a lot of advertising, because people expect it every year. It’s the largest philanthropy on campus.”

“We have been in the event every year. It’s a lot of fun,” said Paul A. Laurent, from Delta Chi, one of the fraternities that competed for the title. “A couple of years ago we came in second, so that was pretty good. You have to do what you have to do to win, and hopefully you win, but if not, we don’t get very upset.