The men of Gamma Sigma Phi, a fraternity at Abilene Christian University, will be playing volleyball for 68 consecutive hours, and it’s all for a good cause.
The event is underway Nov. 10-13 at the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center as well as the newly renovated Moody Coliseum, and donations will benefit Stick Horses and Capes, a local non-profit that helps provide financial assistance to bereaved families who have lost a child.
The organization started when Marshall and Shelley Pinkston lost their child, Hollis Hayes Pinkston. After their painful loss, the Pinkstons created Stick Horses and Capes and held an annual clay shoot in Hollis’ honor every year. The money raised by the organization is distributed to families across the nation.
“I was completely blown away and so honored that GSP wanted to be more involved in our why,” said Shelley, president of Stick Horses and Capes. “This speaks volumes about GSP’s group of young men.”
Earlier this fall, GSP served at the organization’s annual clay shoot to provide extra help to run the event smoothly. After the event, GSP decided to provide all proceeds gained in this year’s annual 68 Hour Volleyball event toward the organization and created sponsorship packages ranging from $250-$1,000. The club is still accepting sponsorships. Email Austin Petree, senior service activities coordinator for GSP, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“It’s a great organization we wanted to help,” Petree said. “We just wanted to give back in this way.”
The 68 Hour Volleyball event is a longstanding tradition of the club with different nonprofits and organizations being benefited each year. This year’s event invites the entire ACU community to come together and help support Stick Horses and Capes.
“This year we have an opportunity unlike any other to benefit the community as a whole,” Petree said. “We’re benefiting those who are in crisis all over the nation. Whether we raise $5,000 or $50,000, we’re still going to make a difference.”
The event began Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. and will end on Nov. 13 at noon for a total of 68 hours of continuous volleyball. Some of the features include a tournament in the newly renovated Moody, glow in the dark volleyball, a chapel service on Sunday, free food and more. The goal of 68 hours stems from the inception of the club in 1968. Kaden Yowell, president of GSP, said the club is founded upon service and giving back.
“68 is not a value,” Yowell said. “It’s about the person next to you, it’s about your neighbor. It’s about everyone else in the community giving back. We can only do that through the Christian brotherhood that we’ve established, pushing each of the members to be better people, better men of God. You can’t do that without a group who’s supporting you through your walk with the Lord.”
Sign ups for the tournament during the event began on Monday in the Campus Center with a small entry fee for each team.
“We want everyone there whether it’s at 1 in the morning, early afternoon or anytime,” Yowell said.
— Connor Mullins
Nov. 11, 2022