SDSU, USD, Lamda Chi Alpha continues tradition with yearly football relay run



Members of the SDSU and USD Lamda Chi Alpha fraternities participate in the yearly football relay from Vermillion to Brookings.

Brynn Lozinski, Reporter

Rival school fraternities teamed up in time-honored tradition for a  football relay to raise funds for Feeding South Dakota.

Lambda Chi Alpha, one of the nine fraternities at SDSU, partnered with the University of South Dakota’s brother chapter to run a football from Vermillion to Brookings in a relay before the SDSU-USD game Oct. 8. 

Together, the schools must run 50 miles each to total 100. However, with the school rivalry, both fraternaties try to run further and raise more money than the other.

This year’s run was a success with SDSU running 59 miles and USD surpassing them with 71 miles. 

While SDSU may have come up short on their running, they surpassed USD with their own fundraising goal by raising $1,850.  

“We fell just shy of our $500 goal,” said Ethan Riswold, USD chapter president. In the end, over $2,000 was raised and donated to Feeding South Dakota.

This tradition has been in place since the 1970s but took a pause for eight years before coming back in 2016. Before the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity system changed its philanthropy to Feeding America, proceeds went to the Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls.

As times have changed, so too have the routes. Particpants used to run along I-29, changing out runners as needed until the halfway point where the ball would be exchanged.  Now the chapters run on their own  as they reach the miles needed.

Rules and regulations also changed. The NCAA no longer allows game balls to be brought from outside the facility for game use. The SDSU chapter uses the same ball each year in their runs to symbolize the history of the run. However, the USD chapter has the original football from the first run back in the 1970s.

Both chapters agree that helping in any way they can to fight food insecurity is a success no matter how large or small the contributions are. 

“We try to put something good back into the community,” Riswold said. 

The members of the chapters look forward to the football run each year as it helps them build their brotherhood while having a good time connecting and later getting to relax at the football game.

The chapter gives back to the community, “through doing fundraisers and making sure everyone gets involved  a couple times a semester to go to the warehouse of Feeding South Dakota,” Sam Morin, SDSU chapter president, said.

 The chapter does this to encourage serving others and to show that giving back is something that Lambda Chi Alpha takes pride in.

Lambda Chi Alpha plans to host a pumpkin smash in November with proceeds also going to Feeding South Dakota.