Fiji members at WWU assist in Mexico tournament
|2/6/2012||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
It's the little moments that count. For the William Woods University chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji), those little moments are found in the smiling faces of children at the annual Mexico Underdawg Youth Basketball Tournament in Mexico, Mo.
A group of Fiji brothers recently spent their Saturday helping parents from the Mexico community host their fourth annual basketball tournament.
Each year, around 10 members of the Fiji chapter attend the tournament to help parents of children in grades 3-6 work their tournament. Fijis help referee games, run score boards, keep stats, work the front desk taking money and registering the basketball teams, and play basketball with the kids.
Fijis who assisted at the tournament were Scott Barker, Mexico, Mo.; Mitch Beck, Jefferson City, Mo.; Shawn Claypool, Jefferson City, Mo.; T.J. Green, Brandon, Miss.; Calvin Hawkins, Wentzville, Mo.; Andrew Housewright, St. Louis, Mo.; Derrick Hunolt, Hermann, Mo.; Corey Samples, Sainte Genevieve, Mo.; Jake Shaw, Lebanon, Mo.; and Jon Williams, Windsor, Mo.
"I volunteered last year and had a great time so when we were given the chance to sign up again, I made sure I was on the list because it's probably the most fun I've had doing community service," said Hawkins.
Altogether the chapter contributed 81 hours of community service doing the project.
Four years ago, the Fiji brothers got involved when Jeff Smith of Mexico, Mo., an accountant and 2010 WWU graduate, asked his fraternity brothers to help his mom, Liz Smith, organize the tournament.
"When we first got involved with the tournament, there wasn't a lot of community involvement, Jake Shaw, chapter president, said. "Each year we've gone back, though, there have been more and more members of the community looking to get involved and help in any way. The amount of teams that come to play every year increases too."
Green added, "It was a great chance to help the children and have a fun time while doing it."
"When I was first asked to help, I didn't really know what to expect, but I had a lot of fun doing it and can't wait to do it next year," Barker said. "I've always wanted to be a referee so when I was asked to do it, I was really excited. I live and breathe basketball so I was a great experience for me."
Shaw hopes to keep the tournament an annual tradition for the Kappa Chi chapter.
"It's something that international headquarters really likes us doing," he said. "There are a lot of different community projects Fijis do, and this is kind of our own little personal one."
Members of Phi Gamma Delta at William Woods University assist each year with the Mexico Underdawg Youth Basketball Tournament in Mexico, Mo.