By Sean Robinson, Reporter
Kickball-the playground game kids grow up playing to achieve recess glory by slamming red rubber balls higher than the monkey bars with one single kick-was revived Saturday when Zeta Tau Alpha sorority hosted their 16th annual Kick Out Cancer Tournament, which benefitted breast cancer awareness and education.
“I think a kickball tournament is appropriate because it attracts a lot of different people,” said Janae Radtke, a sophomore who coordinated the event for UNO’s Zeta Tau Alpha chapter. “Kickball is a sport where everyone can be involved one way or another. Also, by having at least 10 people per team, it allows us to raise more money.”
Outside the hulking, air-supported dome on UNO’s Chili Greens campus, cheering could be heard from the parking lot as 11 teams competed inside to claim the title of “Kickball Kings.” Teams paid approximately $50 each to register for the philanthropy event. Zeta Tau Alpha raised more than $1,000 from the competing teams alone.
The tournament, which started at 9 a.m. on April 13, raised additional money outside of the competition, with the chapter accepting monetary donations at the event.
“I’m taking time out of my Saturday for this because I think breast cancer is a good cause, and it’s fun to watch how competitive the kickball games can get,” said Bailey Fulmer, a freshman member of Zeta Tau Alpha. “I’m here as a cheerleader for both the teams and breast cancer awareness.”
While most members of Zeta Tau Alpha didn’t participate in the tournament itself, Radtke worked up a sweat planning the event, garnering teams, donations and equipment since December 2012.
Radtke said all of her efforts are worth it though because breast cancer education and awareness is important, not only to her chapter, but to their national fraternity, which raises thousands of dollars collectively each year through partnerships with organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Through these joint efforts, Zeta Tau Alpha hopes to fight breast cancer by allowing both men and women to be aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
“Once I joined Zeta Tau Alpha, then that’s when I realized how many people are actually affected by breast cancer,” Radtke said. “By doing fundraisers and even just encouraging the people who have breast cancer to keep fighting, I realized what we are doing is such a wonderful thing.”
Several participants on Saturday were kicking out cancer with little or no sleep after a night of walking for a cure to cancer. UNO’s Relay for Life, a cancer fundraising event held on campus the night before the kickball tournament that ran from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., attracted hundreds of students, keeping them up until just three hours before Zeta Tau Alpha’s event.
“Times like these make me proud to be a Zeta because I know what we’re doing is actually changing people’s lives,” Radtke said.