Representatives from seven Binghamton University fraternities strutted their stuff for charity Saturday night in the 28th annual Greek God competition.
Pi Lambda Phi’s Bennett Timmerman, a first-year graduate student studying business administration, won first place in the contest, taking home a $100 cash prize and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Runner up was Chi Phi’s Timothy Miller.
The competition, held in the Events Center, was hosted by Alpha Epsilon Phi, and according to member Carrie Hecker, raised $31,513.72 for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Sharsheret, an organization that supports Jewish women facing breast cancer.
“This year we raised the most money in Greek God history, and we are so excited to donate this money to such a great cause,” said Hecker, a senior majoring in marketing and management. “As one of Binghamton’s largest annual philanthropy events, it is great that [Greek God] keeps getting bigger and all of Greek life can come together for this entertaining night.”
Following flashy entrances was a flexing competition, choreographed dances and questions for the three finalists.
Most contestants wore togas and acted like Greek gods in their entrances, but some contestants, like Delta Chi’s Daniel Rabban, a junior majoring in economics, took a less standard approach. Rabban entered aside an Empire State Building statue, posing as King Kong while swatting toy airplanes out of the air.
Contestants took the competition and the training that it demanded very seriously.
“I have been training for this for about six months,” said first-place winner Timmerman. “Training involves bulking up to a heavy weight and then cutting down and removing all the fat, while trying to keep the bulk.”
Preparation also included raising money for charity, learning choreography and attempting to get a little color.
“I spray tanned for three days, and then I dream tanned, which is like a rub-on tan, a couple minutes before the competition,” Timmerman said.
Sophia Mosner-Koor, a sophomore majoring in film, had mixed feelings about the tans.
“I think some of them were a little too greasy but some were definitely not greasy enough,” she said.
In the competition’s formal wear portion, contestants stripped off their button-downs and suits, and performed with dancers from sororities and BU’s dance team.
Timmerman’s dance involved a fairy tapping her wand to transform him from a clumsy, formally dressed “geek god” into a shirtless Greek god.
According to Timmerman, winning the contest was no easy feat.
“There are a lot of really in-shape guys, and there was definitely good competition,” he said.
Jordan Lips, who won the competition for Pi Lambda Phi two years ago and graduated last year with a degree in philosophy, politics and law, said that the competition gets harder every year.
“Everyone wants to top each other, and there is so much history so you don’t want to copy what’s already been done,” Lips said.
Bennett Timmerman’s mother, Donna Timmerman, said she wasn’t surprised in the slightest that he won.
“When he sets his mind to something, he can do anything,” Donna Zimmerman said. “He hasn’t had anything to drink, and he has been unbelievably conscientious about this for health reasons, but also because he wanted to be a good role model.”
Josh Krinsky, an undeclared sophomore and member of Delta Chi, said he came away from the competition pleased that he had gone. However, he admitted that it made him realize something.
“I really need to start hitting the gym more often,” he said.