Sand, sun and sorority volleyball are set to collide this weekend, as the All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament descends upon East Beach near downtown Santa Barbara.
The tournament, a greek philanthropy event organized and hosted by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, will take place tomorrow afternoon. Adam Stark, senior political science major and ASVT chair, said that this year’s event will put last year’s to shame.
“I’ve been working on this for over three months – 30 to 35 hours a week,” Stark said. “This year, we’re expecting about 4,000 people, and we had around 2,500 people last year, so it’s a big event that’s only getting bigger.”
The philanthropy event, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will have the widest range of activities in its five-year history, including a beer garden, a DJ, a cool-off station, graffiti artists and a Hollywood TV camera crew capturing the occasion.
“This is the biggest event besides Halloween in Santa Barbara,” Stark said. “We are raising $30,000 for charity, and we want to make it the biggest and best ever.”
This year, ASVT is raising funds to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association. ASVT 2007 organizer and UCSB third-year biology major Josh Kruger said this charity hits very close to home for his fraternity.
“One of our founding brothers, who presided over the house at one time, passed away due to kidney cancer, so we felt that [the Kidney Cancer Association] would be a great charity to support,” Kruger said.
Twenty-four teams will participate in the tournament. Additionally, Sharkeez, Sand Bar and Statemynt Lounge will host afterparties and donate the proceeds to the Kidney Cancer Association. Sophia Shi, a senior communication major and Gamma Phi Beta member, said she feels the event has improved over past years thanks to its growing size and location.
“Last year was the first year [ATO] did it outside of I.V., and I liked it because it was bigger, with more volleyball courts and right on the beach,” Shi said. “They also have a beer garden for 21-plus, which was impossible at Greek Park, so its new location has helped make it an even better event.”
Kruger also said the bus system, a notable hitch at last year’s event, has improved for this year’s tournament.
“I feel the biggest problem last year was transportation,” Kruger said. “We didn’t realize it was going to be not only an event for greeks, but an event for the entire school. The buses are going to be different. It’ll be much more organized. We’re using Bill’s Bus. They’re really successful in taking the 21-plus crowd downtown, so we really trust them for helping us take all these students.”
According to Kruger, the buses will be running nonstop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a stop at Greek Park. Alpha Tau Omega wants everyone to attend, including those from outside the greek system and the Santa Barbara area.
“I really want, if possible, for everyone to come,” Kruger said. “We are not just putting this on as a greek-system event. This isn’t just a party for greeks. We are trying to have a Saturday event for the whole community. We want everyone to come out. We take this very seriously, and I’d love to see everyone out there.”