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Friday, December 19, 2014 | Last updated: 11:08am

Hoops for Hope tournament aims to raise $15,000 for Haiti classroom



A UA sorority chapter is working to raise $15,000 to build a classroom in Haiti.

This week, the Kappa Kappa Gamma – Gamma Zeta Chapter is holding its Hoops for Hope event, a three-on-three single-elimination basketball tournament held annually at Mansfeld Middle School, according to philanthropy chair Brooke Beard, a journalism and communication sophomore. Each year, the event raises money for an organization of the sorority’s choice.

This year, the money will be donated to Generosity Water, a nonprofit dedicated to building wells and ending the clean water crisis in developing countries. If the sorority can meet its $15,000 goal, Generosity Water will dedicate a classroom to the Kappa Kappa Gamma — Gamma Zeta chapter in a school that will be built in La Source, Haiti, according to Beard.

As of Monday, the sorority had already raised $13,000 from registration fees for the event and donations, according to Anna Rabold, vice president of organization and an economics sophomore.

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Sorority members hope to raise $15,000 in this year's Hoops for Hope to build a classroom in Haiti.

“We’re really, really close,” Beard said. “We’re just trying to push for that little extra bit of money so we can just make the school just run really well and just help out La Source, Haiti, and just really make a change. I have a lot of faith that it’s going to happen.”

Beard said she first got the idea to support Generosity Water after she attended a screening earlier in the semester of a documentary called “La Source,” which details the story of a janitor who returns home to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 to bring his village clean water.

Beard eventually contacted Rebecca Smith, the campaign director for Generosity Water, who suggested the $15,000 goal.

“It’s just become my entire life, like this entire semester. I’ve just completely dedicated everything to it,” Beard said. “I have a huge heart for not only just Haiti, but every single individual that’s there and is dealing with this struggle.”

Generosity Water decided to build a school in La Source after discovering that high floods during the rainy season prevented students from attending school, Smith said.

“We realized a lot of people were dropping out and weren’t getting their education,” Smith said. “And we realized this is really important for the development of this village, and getting them out of poverty is giving these kids an education.”

The organization then decided to raise $200,000 to build a school. The $15,000 from Kappa Kappa Gamma will go toward building a classroom in that school, according to Smith.

“We love it. It’s so exciting,” Smith said. “We love when universities [and] college students get behind these kinds of causes. They have such influence and ability to raise a lot of awareness and money too. That makes a huge difference.”

The fact that Kappa Kappa Gamma members have agreed to raise money for people they don’t know, for a country they’ve probably never been to, really shows compassion and love for other people, according to Smith.

“We’re floored by it,” Smith said. “[We’re] totally excited with everything that they’re doing.”

Previously the event only took place on Saturday but the sorority has expanded it to four different events in four days. In an effort to get the community involved, the sorority has opened the event up to the public, as well as created a competition among fraternity members participating in the tournament, according to Rabold.

One hundred and sixty four teams have signed up to play, a significant increase from the 90 to 100 teams who signed up in the past. Rabold attributes this to the Kappa Kappa Gamma members’ visits to each fraternity at the beginning of April with registration packets and information.

Registration for the tournament cost $20 per person, and includes a jersey, food and raffle tickets to win prizes, including gift cards, an autographed basketball and signed Phoenix Suns jerseys.

“I think that this event is going to be more successful than other events just because I think we were more prepared this year and we actually have a lot more sponsors,” Rabold said. “We’ve actually had the most teams sign up this year than ever before.”

The event will begin Wednesday evening and continue until late Saturday afternoon.

“I’m looking forward to just kind of having everyone come out and support not only our sorority
but to support Generosity Water,” Rabold said. “It’s kind of great seeing everyone across the campus get involved and just kind of come together to have a good time, as well as support a good cause.”

Hoops for Hope is not just a philanthropy event for Kappa Kappa Gamma, but something bigger, according to Beard.

“It’s just amazing,” Smith said. “She’s [Beard] … not even that aware … of how she sparked something and got everyone else involved … so I think it’s pretty remarkable on her end.”


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