Shamrock Shootout scores for a cause

Emily Harris/The News

Story by Gisselle HernandezAssistant Features Editor

Emily Harris/The News

Emily Harris/The News

Slam dunks by Pi Kappa Alpha and swift passes from Alpha Gamma Delta led them to taking home golden basketballs for the second year in a row after winning first place at Kappa Delta’s Shamrock Shootout on Saturday.

Kappa Delta held a basketball tournament in Racer Arena to raise funds for the organization’s national philanthropy, Prevent Child Abuse America. This has been their second annual Shamrock Shootout, with ten teams paying $30 each for the chance to dominate the court on Saturday. Sororities played against sororities and fraternities played against fraternities with sorority Alpha Gamma Delta (Alpha Gams) and fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha (Pikes) emerging as champions, once again.

This year’s shootout received a lot more participation than last year’s event, said Natalie Hubbard, vice president of community service for Kappa Delta and the program’s coordinator. The tournament, which began around 10 a.m., lasted until 2 p.m., with winning teams playing against one another until the championship game decided who took home the golden spray painted basketball. Banners hand-painted by their respective Greek organizations draped one wall of the arena, serving as a colorful backdrop for the ever-so-popular selfie with President Bob Davies, who came to show support to all involved. He applauded the sorority’s efforts to make a difference for children across the nation.

“I just love it when our Greek organizations get involved in community efforts and support things outside of Murray State that make a difference in society,” he said.

Throughout the week, the sisters tabled at the Curris Center to promote the event and engaged in change wars with other Greek organizations. Other fundraisers included auctioning off items donated by the community, asking businesses for donations and selling pinwheels – which represented childhood – at the game. Eighty percent of the proceeds are sent to national PCAA and 20 percent goes to the Kentucky PCAA.

The philanthropy advocates for providing mental health services, educating parents on preventing neglect and offers services to better family relationships, according to the PCAA’s website.

Sarah Kelley, president of Kappa Delta, said many sisters choose to be a member of the sorority precisely because of their philanthropy.

“The philanthropy [PCAA] is the reason why I joined KD,” Hubbard said. “I have four sisters at home so I didn’t really need more sisters; it was just for helping children out.”

KD hosts two major events for the philanthropy each year, with the fall event generally having much more success than the one in the spring, which might be attributed to students having less money in the second semester, Kelley said. 

The tournament was considered a big success nonetheless, Hubbard said. Concession stands and games on the side allowed for more fundraising. Teams also received a discount if they adopted a theme and dressed accordingly. For instance, champions Alpha Gams dressed for their theme “Space Gams.”

Janssen Starks, junior from Murray, was one of the “Gams” who helped win the championship game against Alpha Omicron Pi. Starks, who has been playing basketball since she was two, said winning this tournament a second time in a row makes her proud to be a part of her sorority.

“Basketball is something I love to do and being able to play with my sisters just makes it even better,” she said. “KD won our philanthropy this year so it was an awesome experience to have the opportunity to win at their philanthropy as well.”

To Starks, KD’s hard work did not go unnoticed and she said the sisters did a great job raising awareness about the organization and child abuse.

“As a nursing student, I’m in a position where I study and see many cases of child abuse, more than I would like to,” she said. “To know that there are those out there fighting against it is such an amazing and special thing.”