Upon entering Grace Hall on March 22, a sea of students in various colorful tank tops represented their different organizations for an event called Kicks for CASA.
Kicks for CASA is an annual philanthropy event hosted by Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. It is five-versus-five soccer tournament.
This event raised money for Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, a non-profit organization that specializes in giving youth currently in the foster care system an advocate that acts as adviser for the children, according to its website. These advocates fend for students currently in the foster system that do not have parents or loved ones available to represent them in school or court.
“Every child, every individual deserves a good support system and family,” said Patricia Sittikul, ’17, Kappa Alpha Theta’s philanthropy chair.
Students representing many different organizations supported and participated in the event. Both Greeks and non-Greeks alike rallied together to support the cause.
Interested groups could sign up their teams in the University Center the week prior to the event. Teams were registered as groups of five and the price to participate was $25 per group. Some of the organizations that participated in the event include Pi Kappa Alpha, Alpha Tau Omega and Phi Delta Theta fraternities, and Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Delta and Alpha Phi sororities. Pi Beta Phi sorority ultimately won the competition.
Sittikul said she enjoyed watching the participants get into the game and have fun. She said the men participating tended to get intense while playing, and she said it was fun watching people enjoy themselves while doing something for a good cause.
The winners received gift certificates donated by local businesses in Bethlehem. Due to the large amount of students and student groups in attendance, the event ran past the scheduled end time.
“I am especially surprised with the amount of non-Greeks that made it (to the event),” said Sanjana Shree Chintalapudi, ’17, the fundraising coordinator of Kappa Alpha Theta. “It feels so good because this is all for such a great cause.”
Sittikul also noted that this year’s event brought out a more diverse array of students. She attributed this success to the sorority’s increased amount of diverse members.
Sigma Phi Epsilon’s philanthropy chair Jay Chokshi, ’17, said the event created camaraderie between the students playing on teams, despite what social circles they’re a part of on campus. He said even when his team lost, he enjoyed hanging out at the event and talking to new people.
“I feel like the major take away from this even was campus unity,” he said.
All of the proceeds for the event went to the local CASA chapter in Allentown. Derek Tannoia, ’17, said he used this event as a platform to showcase both his skills and his need for giving back.
“There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon,” Tannoia said. “After all, it’s awesome because I get to give back to the Bethlehem community and have fun.”
Kappa Alpha Theta member Geni Gualteri, ’18, said she hopes people left the event knowing that they can raise money for the kids in these foster cares, and have a great time while doing it.
Kappa Alpha Theta hosts a similar philanthropic event during the fall semester called Queso for CASA in Lamberton Hall, where Mexican food is served and money is raised for the same philanthropy.
This is the fifth year that Kappa Alpha Theta has worked in conjunction with CASA. The funds for the event help employ and cover the court cost of children in the foster care system.
“It is wonderful to see so many students come out to our event,” Kit Landry, ’15, said. “I was surprised by how many non-Greek-affiliated teams registered. The event was definitely a success.”