Over the weekend Sonoma State University students, staff and Rohnert Park locals channeled their inner child while giving back to the less fortunate at the annual Phi Sigma Sigma Dodgeball Tournament.
The event is put on during the spring semester, and this year marks the 7th annual tournament planned by the ladies of Phi Sigma Sigma.
“Our philanthropy is the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation which is an ‘umbrella’ organization which supports nonprofit organizations who focus on school and college readiness,” said Jessica Aguilar, a junior and member of Phi Sigma Sigma.
This year members are trying to raise over $2,000 which will be donated to the Kids In Need Foundation. School supplies, also collected at the tournament, will be distributed across the United States to children in grades K-12 who are most in need.
Many of the kids directly helped by these donations are members of low income families, who cannot afford the necessary supplies to help their child or children be successful in the classroom. Last year Phi Sigma Sigma was able to raise about $1,200.
Many think that the event is closed-off only to only Greek organizations or clubs, but Phi Sigma Sigma wants people to know that that’s not the case. Low participation rate outside of clubs and organizations is generally what is expected, but Phi Sigma Sigma welcomes all. Students at Sonoma State receiving a higher education are often presented with the chance to better themselves. This event provides another way to get involved and help those who don’t receive the same opportunities.
Although the event doesn’t usually change from year-to-year, Phi Sigma Sigma decided to shake things up a bit. The 10 teams who signed up also had to select a 1990s or 2000s children’s television show, to have as their theme. “I was looking forward to the different teams dressing up,” stated Katie Crippen, a senior and co-philanthropy chair.
Each participant came dressed-up based on their theme in the hopes of winning the overall best team, and a cash prize. Money was awarded toward other Greek organization’s philanthropies throughout the event, which filled the campus Rec Center with cheers, a sense of community and overall positivity.
The tournament is one of Phi Sigma Sigma’s opportunities to give back. Therefore, a lot of time and energy goes into planning the tournament. Finding a location, signing up teams, putting together silent auction baskets and generating donations were all heavy focuses when planning the event, which takes plenty of time and energy. In addition each year the ladies of Phi Sigma Sigma also donate $40 to the charity, Kids In Need.
“The last time you may have played dodgeball was most likely back in grade school. We want to create that same playground fun in our philanthropy event,” said Aguilar. This is just another was Phi Sigma Sigma sets themselves apart from the others. People love to have competition, but being able to give back at the same time makes it a good excuse to participate.
This event isn’t the only way that the members of Phi Sigma Sigma give back. Alongside this event they also partner up with local businesses like Swirl Time, Panda Express or Chipotle and the proceeds directly help children in need. Phi Sigma Sigma also tables multiple times a semester where students can either donate spare change ora school supply of some sort. Those that missed the dodgeball event can take advantage of future opportunities put on by the ladies of Phi Sigma Sigma by looking for flyers and signs, or by stopping during tabling to find out more.