Rain or shine, Gamma Phi Beta was going to have its Crescent Classic Volleyball Tournament.
On Sunday, several dozen students from various sororities and fraternities huddled into Shoreline Middle School’s gymnasium to participate in the high-spirited event. The tournament was “one of the biggest events Gamma Phi Beta throws throughout the whole year,” said third-year Kayla Bartos, Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropy chair.
Gamma Phi Beta’s charity tournament was an event to raise money for Campfire USA, a not-for-profit youth development organization.
“Campfire USA is basically like a coed girl-scout-like summer camp,” said third-year Sophia Reller, Gamma Phi Beta’s public relations vice president. “It’s great to see so many people willing to help the cause.”
Despite problems from the outset — a change in venue due to rain, a nearly four-hour delay before the tournament’s originally listed start time, and the comings and goings of students due to pressing midterms — the event was a resounding success, Reller said.
“This year’s Crescent Classic did a lot better than last year’s,” she said. “Last year we raised about $600. This year we raised nearly $3,000.”
The significant boost in donations this year is a direct result of changing the Crescent Classic into a volleyball tournament, Reller said.
“It used to be a bowling tournament,” she said. “But Kayla and I figured we were not making as much money as we could doing that. We’ll definitely be doing a volleyball tournament again next year.”
The Crescent Classic had nine teams competing, with only one — Team “Sir Francis Pirates” — not directly affiliated with any UCSC Greek chapter. Each of the teams, while expecting a fair amount of competition from one another, was just pleased by being able to help Gamma Phi Beta’s cause.
Minutes before his team’s first bracket match, Cameron Kolk, captain of Team “Sir Francis Pirates,” played down the seriousness of the competition.
“In the brackets, things will get intense, sure,” Kolk said. “But last night [the team] just hung out, partied, and really we’re here to support Campfire USA.”
While a team from UCSC’s Sigma Pi chapter went on to win the tournament and claim the right to sport the bright, lime green Crescent Classic T-shirts, the real winners, said Bartos of Gamma Phi Beta, were Campfire USA.
“The serious volleyball players were busy today,” Bartos said. “The girls’ team has a tournament while the boys had practice. Everyone here is pretty much here to help out Campfire USA and to have fun.”