This past Saturday was Kicks for CASA, Kappa Alpha Theta’s major annual philanthropy event. CASA is an acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates which is a non-profit organization that finds volunteers to serve as voices for neglected and abused children in and outside of the courtroom. In volunteering at CASA, Theta works to continue relations which foster teens and kids through court processes and after as friends and role models. Theta holds the kickball tournament every spring to raise money to donate to the organization as a culmination of the work over the course of the year.
Last spring, they raised over $7,500, and while funds have not yet been totaled for this year, Theta expects to have raised similar amounts. Teams sign up ahead of time and pay an entrance fee, which is how most of the money is raised. Theta sets up the event at 8 a.m. and the first teams play at 10:30 a.m. The round is double elimination and usually goes until around 3 p.m.
Around noon, there is a barbecue with bugers, chips, and soda. However, due to cold snowy weather and a winter storm watch this year, they made the best of the situation and grilled inside the house before delivering it to the teams. Despite the weather, teams were still ready and excited for the event. People wore colorful costumes and many noted that the energy of the event was not deterred by the weather conditions. This year, the underclassman hockey team walked away with the title and golden kickball trophy.
Sophomore Bryna Coyle served last semester and the semester prior as philanthropy chair for Theta, the position responsible for Theta’s charity events such as Kicks. This spring term and through next fall term, junior Elle Gannon is the philanthropy chair. Junior Juliet Fink, Chief Marketing Officer, also plays a large role in the event. However, the fundraiser is not solely handled by the chairs. Rather, it is a chapter effort. Earlier in the year the chairs helped organize the chapter into committees to help out with certain things such as making posters, or going into town as delegates for CASA and Theta.
Another large part of fundraising and something new to the event is that local restaurants have been making donations in the form of raffling gift certificates. The gift cards were then raffled at the tournament and furthered CC’s relationship with the local community. Prior to the event, the chapter appealed to alumni from CC and nationwide in a campaign for funding. Theta members also do some of their own fundraising aside from meeting at restaurants and local businesses.
The event is consistently successful and has stayed relatively the same in structure over the years. It has gained a name across campus even for those outside Greek life. Coyle said the relationship of CC and Theta to CASA is also important as it shows “we’re not that different.” Coyle’s older brother went to CC eight years ago, and Kicks for CASA was held then as well.
Throughout the year, Theta works closely with CASA. The relationship is not just limited to the event. Theta members also have 10 required service hours a semester which keeps them involved in a variety of service options. There are two all-female group homes near campus that come to Theta during the school year for a sleepover or brunch.
These days involve the girls watching movies, doing makeovers and their nails, and making food. The girls that come hang out and talk with the members of the sorority and have conversations on topics including healthy relationships, family issues, and positive body image. The time they spend together is strengthening for both the girls in the group home and the sorority.
Through CASA, Theta gets to do a great deal of hands-on work. While CASA is a nationwide organization, it is especially influential and well known in the Pike’s Peak region. “Everyone in the chapter is always very positive and excited about the work they do,” said Coyle.
Despite one team of kids from CASA and representatives not being able to make it this year due to weather, it was still one of the event’s most successful years. Coyle commented on how great it is to see Theta and CASA interacting with the larger student body. The goal will always be to raise as much money as possible, whether that means maybe more events earlier in year or just continuing to “spread awareness for the organization,” said Coyle.