Theta hosts dodgeball tournament for charity

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Author: Noel Hemphill

Occidental’s Eta Mu chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta seeks to put the “fun” into fundraising with their seventh annual charity dodgeball tournament. The April 27 tournament is the first time faculty and staff will join students in the competition to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Though this event is only in its seventh year, the partnership between CASA and the national sorority dates back over 20 years. CASA, which provides advocates for foster children in court cases, has received over $1,000,000 in donations from Theta chapters nationwide. According to CASA’s website, Thetas volunteer in local CASA offices, host fundraising events, provide educational materials on CASA and even work as special advocates.

“Thetas all over the country are involved with CASA and every chapter has its own signature philanthropy event that benefits CASA,” Kate Handley, Eta Mu philanthropy chair and dodgeball tournament organizer, said.

According Handley, Theta cannot allocate any of its budget toward buying prizes for the event and therefore relies on local businesses to donate gifts and food. Players pay $10 to participate, eat and compete for the donated prizes, which include gift cards from Dave’s Chillin’ and Grillin’ and Cafe de Leche. Teams sign up in groups of six and choose to play in either the advanced “A” or beginner “B” bracket. Those who sign up as individuals are placed into teams based on their selected skill level. Students who do not wish to play in the tournament are still encouraged to spectate and can pay $5 to watch and $7 if they wish to enjoy food from local vendors.

Handley and the rest of the Theta dodgeball committee are trying out several new tactics to increase fundraising. Along with reaching out to specific clubs and campus organizations, this year marks the first time that Theta has invited faculty and staff to participate in the tournament. Both Campus Safety and the Athletics Department agreed to form teams, and Handley believes Campus Safety is going to put up a good fight.

“Everyone is going to have to look out for them!” Handley said.

Entertainment will be provided by Urban and Environmental Policy and economics major Alex Forester (senior) spinning tunes throughout the competition and a Raw Records artist performing during halftime. A costume contest and a raffle are also planned for the halftime show. This year’s raffle prize could possibly top last year’s Jay Leno tickets; for a one dollar raffle ticket, participants will be entered to win four VIP tickets to see Chelsea Handler’s show “Chelsea Lately.” Handley is thrilled about the tickets, which were a donation from one of the Theta sisters.

“Everyone in the sorority was asked to help out, and someone had this great connection. I might buy them all!” Handley said.

Sign-ups for the event are set to take place every day in the two weeks preceding the event. Students can charge all costs to their student accounts. The tournament will take place in Rush Gymnasium with day-of sign ups starting at 1 p.m.

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