Athletic and Sporting Events
Event Type: "Kick the Silence" Kickball Tournament
Contributors: Alpha Eta Chapter (Spring 2007 Form 110)
Overview & Background: This was the 4th annual Kickball Tournament.
Our primary goal was to change the philanthropy, which had previously been the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, more commonly referred to as RAINN. Child, Inc. is a local charity with two battered women’s shelters right here in New Castle County, Delaware. We decided this was a worthy charity with which we could have a very personal connection and a great impact on.
We decided this was a worthy charity with which we could have a very personal connection and a great impact on.
Planning required: The co-chairs began brainstorming and planning soon after being appointed in December of 2006. Roundtable discussions at leadership retreat during the winter helped us discuss in length ideas to revitalize Kick the Silence. After solidifying goals, we knew our focus was the new philanthropy.
After several phone conversations, we met with both the assistant to the Executive Vice President and the head of the Domestic Violence Services program personally at Child, Inc.’s Wilmington office. They were very interested in the program and were honored that we decided to sponsor them. The organization even decided to make a team from the executive board to personally come play at the event.
At the first Brotherhood meeting we presented a slide show to educate Brothers about Child, Inc. and domestic violence in general. To further increase Brothers’ knowledge about sexual assault and domestic violence, we arranged to have a speaker from Child, Inc. come to campus to talk to students about these issues.
After reserving the playing fields, we held committee meetings every one to two weeks consisting of fourteen Brothers who could help us out.
Other fundraising efforts included California Tortilla night at a local restaurant, which grossed $100 in donations this year. We also designed and sold our own event t-shirts, which have always been popular among the Brotherhood. This year we had a great deal and actually made a $130 profit from selling over 60 shirts. We also split up local businesses in the area among committee members, who talked to business owners in biweekly in an attempt to get donations. We were lucky to get a discount on Little Caesar’s pizzas for the day of the event and obtained gift certificates to businesses such as Peace-A-Pizza, Iron Hill, Deer Park, Tea-licious, Shaggy’s, Pita Pit, Newark Deli and Bagel, Starbucks, and many others. We also rented bases and balls from the Bob Carpenter Sports Building and had kickballs donated from a local elementary school.
Resources required:The night before the event we obtained two large bags of key chains, flyers, magnets, water bottles, etc. from all the groups on campus involved in sexual assault awareness at the Rock Against Rape concert hosted by the Men Against Rape Society.
Event Summary:We set up a table with all sorts of information about CHILD, Inc., as well as a water cooler, soft pretzels, and two tents just in case there was a change in weather. One exciting addition we added to the event this year was our own carnival games. We set up two easy-to-use games, one of which was donated by Habitat for Humanity. The idea was for teams to play during down time. We charged a small fee for each attempt, and that money went towards CHILD, Inc. as well. Finally, we laid out the bases and arranged the three playing fields so that as many teams could play at once as possible.
We ended up recruiting 17 teams and over 175 people in total for the event, which was a great feeling! We had teams consisting of Brothers, initiates, the Outing Club, the Adventure Club, Cabrini College, graduate students, Residence Life, Habitat for Humanity, and a team from CHILD, Inc. itself. It was a great feeling to see people arrive with team jerseys on, some even sporting our “Kick the Silence” t-shirts. Many people brought items to donate to our box drive for CHILD, Inc. We collected toiletries, flashlights, and old cell phones, which, as mentioned, were worth $25 a piece.
Each game was limited to a half hour or five innings, whichever came first. The two teams playing each game generally compromised on the rules of play. While the eight teams played, the other nine enjoyed the soft pretzels and played some of the carnival games. Others just watched the action and had some team bonding time. The tournament was single elimination, so the next round of action featured the remaining eight teams. After every team had played once, we had a break so that the players could reenergize and eat some pizza. During this time, Larry Haas, a representative of CHILD, Inc., spoke on behalf of the organization about how grateful they were for such an event like Kick the Silence. He also spoke a little about domestic violence, the services they offer, and the goals of the organization.
17 Teams. 175-200 people. $2,247 raised.
Event Type: Dance Marathon
Contributors: Gamma Epsilon Chapter (Spring 2007 Form 110)
Background/Overview: Dance Marathon occurs annually and boasts 650 college students staying awake and standing for 32-hours to raise not only funds, but also knowledge of Children’s Miracle Network. The money that is raised goes directly to Shands Children’s Hospital benefiting the patients that are seen every year with tremendous medical needs. The event has raised over $2 million throughout its 13 year existence. These children have gone through so much in their lives in terms of suffering and fear, some from birth, and this event is a celebration of their triumphs over their health issues.
Planning required:Once I had contacted every sorority in the blue category (the highest one) I finally heard back from Chi Omega and we both voted to pair with each other. This added duties to my already packed Dance Marathon agenda as I now had to stay in touch with their delegate as well. Having another delegate from a different organization proved to be very helpful. For instance, she taught me that making a Screen Name and putting important stuff in the profile and daily events in the away message allowed people to always be aware of what was occurring that day or week so they would not miss it. It began to serve as my own office hours as people would instant message me with questions and comments or talk to me solely about things concerning Dance Marathon. The first event, a Get Excited Ice Cream Social to make cards and have people pay admission which went towards our total, coincided with Penny Wars, a fun and easy way to raise money at meetings. Captain applications were due in the very beginning of September and we had one alumna and one brother earn these positions. Along with this we had one brother on Overall Dance Marathon, which is a group of 11 people in charge of planning the entire event and overseeing the captains and teams. In October, the other delegate and I began meeting occasionally and another event, a letter writing party, was held. One of the most lucrative fundraisers is through simply writing letters to family and friends. Sometimes people do not know what to say in these letters or how to personalize them, so I brought samples of past letters I had written and everyone at the event drafted letters to send out. The first overall delegate meeting was held in October. This was mostly an overview of the year.
As this month went on, I began to emphasize the online fundraising program that overall started the year before. In just a few days the chapter had already raised $170, and this was before the big push that comes in the spring. During the event the Overall Morale team choreographs a line dance that keeps the dancers entertained and energized. It is played randomly throughout the event and is a treat every time the intro begins. To get people excited, another brother in Gamma Epsilon (she became my co-chair in the spring) and I choreographed a three-and-a-half minute line dance to five songs and held the event in November. I held an event to teach everyone the line dance we had created and we performed it in the meeting to increase attendance at the event. There was another delegate meeting in which we were informed of D-A-N-C-E Week, a way to earn spirit points as each organization member could sign-in as they walked through the heart of our campus, and it raised awareness about the fact that early dancer registration ended that week. The Family Relations team informed us of the Pen Pal Program and the Community Events team gave us the dates for their upcoming events and drives.
During early registration I collected 11 applications, only four short of our total amount of dancers from the year before. I had to collect all of these forms, the money, and the waivers and turn them all in on a specified day. I applied for our pen pal and began collecting cell phones and ink cartridges. There was a bowling event that raised money for Overall Dance Marathon and earned spirit points for Gamma Epsilon in November, too. Overall held a preliminary dancer meeting, unfortunately the chapter had its initiate voting meeting so only initiates were in attendance. At this voting meeting there was a bake sale since those meetings tend to go longer than regular chapter meetings. In the spring each paired organization makes t-shirts to check-in each Wednesday for spirit points. In an effort to not miss any check-ins, which start immediately after Winter Break, the other delegate and I got the design together and began taking money and orders for shirts. Over the entire course of the semester we raised $500 through various chapter fundraisers and with the online campaign. This was a great sign for the chapter.
Spring semester always proves to be the busiest and most challenging, therefore the fall chair is given a co-chair. My co-chair was a lifesaver, especially towards the end when everything picked up. When we returned in the spring, she and I added another four goals to the 10 from fall (two of those 10 were only goals for the fall) and began planning the semester. It seemed odd to us that all of a sudden there really were not that many days left before the event. However, this became a huge motivating factor with both the chapter and us. We found ourselves on the phone multiple times a day trying to organize events, get paperwork together, or making agendas for our reports in meetings. In January we were finally assigned our pen pal, Brooke. We had a letter writing party for her to make birthday cards since her 10th birthday was quickly approaching and we received spirit points for each one. Each month my co-chair and I brought construction paper and markers to the meeting so that we could keep in touch with her before meeting her at the final event. We also began promoting the Dance Marathon 5K put on by Overall and continuing the drives from fall. Our meeting fundraiser became Wanda Wenis, which showcased the fine elbows of the ladies in Gamma Epsilon and asked brothers to vote for their favorite with money.
At our first delegate meeting of the spring semester (these became bi-weekly) we were informed of the upcoming Dance Marathon 5K and Mini-Marathon, the high school version of Dance Marathon. My co-chair and I went to visit this event which had the teens standing for 12 hours. During January, we began t-shirt check-ins, participated in a toy drive, and continued the cell phone and ink cartridge drive from the previous semester. Team applications were also due this month and we had four brothers serve on two teams during the event. Final dancer registration was due at the very end of January and we had another seven brothers sign-up to participate.
At the next delegate meeting we started with a “miracle moment.” Our Overall Dancer Relations chair showed us a little knit hat that goes on the premature infants at Shands. It was the size of a small doll’s hat and it really reminded me of why I wanted to raise money for these children.
February began with a bake sale at the rushee voting meeting which raised around $50 dollars in a few hours. The first big event of the month was the Dance Marathon 5K, which had hundreds of runners participate in it. My co-chair and I had a dancer bonding sleepover the night before so that people may not only learn about Dance Marathon and bond before the event, but also sleep in one place and wake-up to go to the event together early the next morning. February was also the host of our two biggest fundraisers of the year: Canning and Date Auction. The weekend of February 16th, brothers did shifts of 4 each for a half-day on Friday and full day on Sunday standing on a busy intersection collecting money in buckets. It raised around $800 in just a day-and-a-half.
Just a few days later, we held our annual Date Auction in which brothers sell themselves to clean someone’s house or take them on a “date.” This event raised $2,600 alone! Because money turn-in day was at the end of the week (this is when dancers must have each earned their $300 to participate or else they cannot dance), the chapter also saw a significant increase in online donations as 18 dancers need to be paid for (that totals to $5,400). Once we had secured our base amount of money, the final push for donations began. The final weekend of February was Family Weekend for Gamma Epsilon, and also Family Day at the Zoo. There is a local teaching zoo at a community college in Gainesville and organizations set-up booths with prizes and the miracle children and their families come and we meet all of them. We had a face painting booth with our pair and many brothers brought their family members with them to the event, which also earned us many spirit points.
My co-chair and I also had to start the magazine drive, hyping up Mr. and Mrs. DM, beginning to brainstorm for the lip sync competition, collecting money for the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, and collecting dancer buddy lists (these are people that are paired with a dancer to keep their morale up and bring them things during the event). My spring break, conveniently, was with my co-chair and even during our relaxation we spent countless hours working on Dance Marathon events as the event was only 18 days away.
Once we returned from break, March events, by far the busiest month for the event and delegates, were in full swing. Upon returning, the 34th Street Wall was painted to publicize the event and pairs and earn spirit points. This allows each pair or individual organization to paint a large chunk of the wall that faces one of the main arterials in Gainesville. Lip Sync rehearsals also began and continued through the week, one night going until 1 AM. At the second-to-last delegate meeting of the semester, the due dates for everything were announced (which all basically fell on the same day) and the inspiration and motivation were pumped into all the delegates. The mandatory dancer meeting was held the next night and gave dancers helpful tips for the event as well as morning of procedure. The weekend before the event was Gamma Epsilon’s regional event, GET SLAM’D, and this worked two-fold for us. The lip sync competition, Battle for Shands, was held the Friday night of GET SLAM’D and brothers from our own chapter as well as visiting chapters came to cheer us on and also signed in for spirit points. We were practically our own section and we won first place! The next morning the Pancake Breakfast was held by Overall, but the money went to each organization based on the amount of tickets they sold. Our ICR chairs had an option for brothers attending to purchase a ticket and we sold 42 in the end.
The next week, the overall events slowed down with the exception of a few remaining spirit point events and my co-chair and I began focusing our efforts on not only reaching our fundraising goal of $18,000 but also getting everything ready for before the event. We had to put together the dancer gift bags which included making 11X17 picture frames which would allow the dancers to frame their dancer numbers and a group picture, and also put in the small gifts. We had to collect medical release forms from everyone to turn in at the final delegate meeting and keep everyone still excited, despite the hectic nature of the final days.
Event Summary: The morning of March 31st rapidly arrived and, while it seemed that my co-chair and I would be finished as soon as the event started, it really just began. Once everyone had arrived and check-in had been completed (we had 16 dancers in the end), I could not leave because I was dancing, but my co-chair could. She had the task of printing out the group picture taken before the event and placing them in the frames in between her morale team shifts. I was there to mediate between Overall and dancers as they generally would only talk to a delegate about any problems. During the 32-hours, Gamma Epsilon never failed to display their selflessness and passion for Dance Marathon. Even at 4 A.M., there was someone visiting or bringing something for a tired dancer. No one hesitated to give foot or back massages or piggyback rides when the dancers felt as though they could stand no more. The idea behind this whole event is so that people truly understand the pain that these children have gone through. Even though we are tired and our feet hurt, that really only equals a little amount of the pain that these children have had to endure. Being awake for 32-hours is probably quite minuscule when you compare the endless sleepless nights that the children and families have had. Missing the Men’s Basketball team repeat their Final Four win reminded us all that these kids have had to miss a birthday party or something equally as fun because they were too ill to attend. Seeing the children and their families and hearing their stories while standing for their cause and knowing we were helping future miracle children was more than inspirational, it was awe-inspiring. When the final hour had expired, we found ourselves sitting on the floor, waiting for the final total and for our placement within our category. We came in the 3rd in the highest category for money raised! We have only been in this category for two years and both times we have placed. That is a very difficult feat considering that we are not a Greek organization and we have about one-third the membership as the other organizations we were against. We raised a new Gamma Epsilon high of $17, 044.45, $11, 325 of that coming from just online donations. Even though we did not reach our goal of $18,000, the success and feeling of worth came from knowing that not only had we outdone ourselves again, but we are helping save that many more children’s lives.