Greeks from all over California packed Storke Field this weekend to play soccer and raise money for charity.
The Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity held its second annual all-greek community philanthropy soccer tournament from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to raise money for the Jack Canfield Chicken Soup Fund. The aid organization helps students who do not have the financial means to pay for medical fees that are not covered by university health insurance. A total of 26 teams from UCSB, UCLA, UCSD and Cal Poly — made up of fraternity and sorority members — participated in the charity soccer tournament.
Geoff Woods, AEPi philanthropy chair and a first-year business economics major at UCSB, said AEPi raised over $1,000 for the charity. The 26 teams each paid $8 to $12 per person for the shirts worn in the tournament.
“I’m really glad that we were able to go above what we were trying to achieve,” Woods said. “I’m a first-year, so I’d never seen this done before. It was a lot of work, but it really came together.”
The UCLA teams won both the fraternity and sorority championships for the second year in a row. The UCLA chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity beat UCSB’s Beta Theta Pi in the men’s finals, while Alpha Phi of UCLA beat Delta Gamma of UCSB in the women’s finals. Woods said he felt the event was a success.
“It’s about not only donating to a good cause, but also getting a bunch of greeks together and having fun,” he said.
This is the second time AEPi has put together the tournament after the now-defunct FIJI fraternity handed it over to them in 2003, Woods said.
Second-year dramatic art major Jason Garber, the vice president of AEPi who coordinated the tournament, said he and Woods had been planning the event since the beginning of Winter Quarter. Garber said he considers the tournament AEPi’s largest philanthropic event of the year.
“It’s a good thing for the greek community,” Garber said. “It enables good relations between fraternities and sororities both in and outside of UCSB.”
When groups wish to put together charity sports events, the UCSB Recreational Sports Dept. often recommends donating to the Jack Canfield Chicken Soup Fund, an organization started in 1997 to help students – often athletes – pay for expensive medical procedures, Garber said.
“When it comes to helping out students in need of medical aid, I’m all for it,” Garber said. “I am glad to know that there are other ways to help out.”