ABILENE, Texas — The Gamma Sigma Phi fraternity at Abilene Christian University are playing volleyball for 68 consecutive hours for an Abilene nonprofit organization.
The event started Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center and the newly-renovated Moody Coliseum. Donations will benefit Stick Horses and Capes, a local nonprofit 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 the loss, the Pinkstons created Stick Horses and Capes and held an annual clayshoot 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,” Shelley Pinkston, president of Stick Horses and Capes, said. “This speaks volumes about GSP’s group of young men.”
Earlier this fall, GSP served at the Sticks and Horses' annual clay shoot to provide extra help to run the event smoothly. After that event, GSP decided to give all proceeds from this year’s annual 68-hour volleyball event to the organization and created sponsorship packages ranging from $250-$1,000.
“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 benefiting 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.”
Some of the features of the event include a tournament in the Moody Coliseum, glow-in-the-dark volleyball, a chapel service Sunday, free food and more. The goal of 68 hours stems from the inception of the club in 1968.
Kaden Yowell, GSP president, 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. We want everyone there whether it’s at 1 in the morning, early afternoon or anytime,” Yowell said.
For more information, or to sponsor, email Austin Petree, GSP senior service activities coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.