On October 14, Theta Chi (ΘX) and Alpha Xi Delta (AΞΔ) held a philanthropy soccer tournament named K.I.C.K.S benefiting Autism Speaks. As members of each organization, respectively, we witnessed first-hand the power that philanthropies have to bring Greek organizations together while simultaneously having them grow within the State College community.
Our organizations have been hosting the philanthropy, which is a soccer tournament, together for over two decades now, even surviving a refounding in 2002. Teams of eight, consisting mainly of Greeks, compete in a series of short soccer matches in “Pool Play”, with the top teams entering an eight team playoff. From there, teams are eliminated until there are only two teams, which face-off for the first place title.
It is this element of competition that helps fuel most philanthropic events. The Greek community is no stranger to competition and it is often the thing that brings the Greek community together to benefit a good cause. Competition motivates participation, which is the first key to throwing a good philanthropy. Doing this in fun and creative ways is enticing to most, if not all, Greek organizations and ensures a good turnout. Soccer is a good example because it is something many people can easily pick up and play casually, while also appealing to the many former athletes that make up the Greek community. Our organizations have taken this idea and implemented it into other philanthropic events; AXiDis throwing a dodgeball tournament with TDX, as well their Xi Man Pageant in the spring. When people see familiar activities revamped, it inspires them to get involved, if only for the appeal of having a good time; nevermind the fact that it’s all for a good cause. Simultaneously, hosting a successful philanthropic event will help your organization become more socially prevalent, which can also help recruitment.
Although the main focus of a philanthropy is raising money for a good cause, it is also a good way to develop a stronger connection to another orgigization. By pairing with another orgigization to host the event, it creates an avenue for social growth for both organizations. Our organizations generally do not cross paths often, but the event created an atmosphere conducive to bonding. Both orgigizations enjoyed their day together, regardless of not having been close prior to the event. In addition to this, hosting a fun and entertaining philanthropy with multiple Greek organizations participating encourages overall Greek community growth. Working together to benefit a good cause brings everyone in the community closer together, even if all they’re really doing is playing soccer.
The event was more successful than it had ever been in the past, raising over $2,300 for Autism Speaks. When Greeks contribute to society, the community reacts. The evidence that Greeks can come together and do good things for society is undeniable. The event we held was surrounded by a neighborhood filled with families who couldn’t help admiring our efforts. Although one woman came down initially to ask us to turn down our speakers, she ended up applauding our efforts when she found out what the event was for (and after we turned down the volume).