Alpha Epsilon Pi hosts ‘Balling for Boobs’ basketball tournament
UB fraternity holds fundraiser for breast cancer awareness
Greek life is often depicted in television and films as organizations that spend all their time partying, but Joshua Grove said he hopes to shift that connotation to charity.
Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) hosted its fifth annual Balling for Boobs three-on-three charity basketball tournament on April 2. This year’s tournament was originally projected to raise $500, but raised $800 – nearly triple the donations from last year. All proceeds from the tournament went to the American Cancer Society with part of the money being set aside for breast cancer research.
Grove, a senior marketing major and member of AEPi, said his personal connection to cancer motivated him to get involved in the basketball tournament. After Grove’s father passed away from cancer 12 years ago, he developed a passion in cancer research.
“Greek life has always had a bad reputation, and we’ve taken that to heart the last three or four years,” Grove said. “We try to use this event, the Relay [For Life event] and our other charity events to repair as much of that image as we can.”
Greek life was founded mainly to fundraise and build connections with charities and organizations, according to Grove, which is something that is often lost sight of but is one of the most important things to remember.
Grove said whether it’s through small raffles in the Student Union or fundraisers with local businesses, AEPi takes pride in charity throughout the entire school year.
“Raising money for cancer is great, but raising money for breast cancer isn’t always what people think of first, so that’s something that we definitely are taking pride in this year,” he said.
In the fall semester, the main fundraising event for the fraternity is a dodge ball tournament. The tournament raised money for local childhood cancer research charities such as Melina’s White Light and Blue4Ben.
Blue4Ben is a local charity inspired by a young boy who passed away from a brain tumor in 2014. The boy’s father is the landlord for Grove and other members of AEPi. After hearing Blue4Ben’s story and growing close with their landlord, AEPi raised over $2,000 for his son’s charity.
Grove said this was a “substantial amount” for such a small not-for-profit organization.
Zachary Kiel, a sophomore business major, said helping out local charities is a cause he is passionate about.
“It’s definitely nice to help out the local communities. We like getting involved in the community and bringing everyone closer together,” Kiel, who serves as a chair for the basketball tournament, said.
Kiel has lost friends and family members to cancer. He said the entire brotherhood is responsive and passionate about fundraising and charity.
Conor Dorney, a junior psychology major and co-chair for the tournament, said he enjoys being part of a brotherhood to get involved in charity events like this.
“The brotherhood enjoys getting involved when it comes to cancer research, a lot of people take a passion for it,” Dorney said.
Dorney said people have fun and receive an overall good vibe when they attend the Balling for Boobs tournament, and the money raised goes toward a worthy cause.
In years past, the Balling for Boobs tournament was spearheaded by just one brother, with the rest of the brothers just following behind, according to Grove. But this year, with equal participation from each of the fraternity’s members, Balling for Boobs has become AEPi’s biggest of the year.
Kori Hughes is a news staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com.