Some UCSB students will be shooting basketballs instead of vodka tomorrow afternoon – while they participate in Hoops for Heroes, a sports-themed fundraiser hosted by UCSB’s American Red Cross Club.

The club is co-sponsoring a 64-team basketball tournament with the Rec Cen in order to benefit the Santa Barbara Red Cross Heroes Campaign – a program the organization has created to improve its educational outreach, activities and events for children in Santa Barbara County. UCSB Red Cross Vice President Aimee Edmondo said sponsors hope to raise $1,000 at Hoops for Heroes.

“I’m upbeat about meeting the goal, but we won’t be disappointed if we don’t,” Edmondo said. “It is our first time taking on an event like this.”

The tournament will begin at 4 p.m., but Edmondo said participants are encouraged to arrive at 3:30 with all members of their team. She said all participants at the event will receive free pizza, and each member of the tournament’s winning team will receive an iPod Nano.

Participants can register for the tournament today in the Arbor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the cost of $20 per team or $5 for individuals. The registration fees will fund programs affiliated with the Heroes Campaign – such as a spring camp that teaches leadership and safety skills such as CPR to youth, among other Red Cross programming.

“When people become members of the Red Cross, they’re given discounts on things like CPR and safety training,” Edmondo said. “That’s part of what the funds go toward, because we have to pay the instructors.”

Edmondo said the idea for the tournament came from a fundraiser the club typically holds during the spring called Miles for Measles, a 5K walk/run that funds measles vaccinations for children in Africa.

“This year at the Red Cross we kind of want to revamp our club, and so we kind of used the Miles for Measles as an idea,” she said. “We want to do a major event every quarter, a major fundraiser of some kind.”

UCSB Red Cross President Cameron Malone said he is encouraging UCSB students to participate in the tournament.

“Just come out, play some basketball for a good cause, have some fun and get some free food,” Malone said.