Gamma Sigma Phi raised $18,000 by their 68-Hour Volleyball Tournament last weekend to help two familiar families.
The tournament made its third appearance on campus this year under the direction of Kyle Karnei, a junior accounting major from Waco and the senior service activities coordinator for GSP. The tournament was created in 2008 and reactivated in 2012.
“Each guy that holds this position can make this role whatever he wants,” Karnei said. “This year I wanted to bring back this event.”
The tournament began Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and continued until Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Karnei said the tournament had a great turnout. The entire weekend, participants played different games of volleyball and had a tournament on Saturday afternoon. Students around the entire campus went to compete.
“There were 10 teams that competed in the actual tournament part of the weekend,” Karnei said. “Clubs, campus groups and residence halls all competed in the tournament. The best time turnout was from about 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. every night. The hardest time to get people there was from about 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.”
Macy McAlister, a sophomore health promotions major from Abilene, said what made the tournament special was bonding with people that she normally wouldn’t have bonded with on a daily basis.
“The best part was sharing in each other’s misery of being exhausted, but at the same time that misery gave me more energy to keep going,” McAlister said. “I think everyone had a blast.”
Students had the chance to meet the two families who will benefit from the money raised at the event: the Wade family, whose son recently died from leukemia on February fourth, and Cason and Kelsey Ford. Cason is currently battling leukemia.
“I couldn’t help but think about the Wade’s and the Ford’s,” Karnei said. “I know this weekend brought much joy to both of them.”
Karnei said Cason and Kelsey were able to attend the tournament’s church service on Sunday morning where Cason shared the journey he has been on the last few months.
“This event provides GSP a great opportunity to raise money for families that mean so much to us,” Karnei said.
McAlister said she thought everyone had a blast and she would give a 68- out-of-68 recommendation for participating in the 68 Hour Volleyball Tournament.
Karnei said the best part of the tournament was seeing all the support at every moment throughout the weekend.
“We played a crazy number of hours of volleyball, but I could look across the gym at any point and see the smiles and fun that people were having,” Karnei said.