GV Gamma Phi Beta hosts tournament to benefit 'Girls on the Run'
Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle while studying at college can prove to be a challenge. With this in mind, Grand Valley State University's Gamma Phi Beta chapter hosted the first annual GVSU "Moonball: Blacklight Volleyball Tournament."
The Moonball event, which was held Saturday, Feb. 25, gave participating teams the chance to compete for a monetary donation to their philanthropy of choice. Proceeds from the event went to the Girls on the Run charity, the sorority’s philanthropic partner.
Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that inspires girls from 3rd grade through 8th grade to be happy, healthy and confident through a fun, experience-based curriculum focused on running.
“Not only do funds from moonball tournaments support an organization that builds strong girls, but the tournament also provides a healthy activity for participants,” said Hannah Svendor, public relations vice president for Gamma Phi Beta.
Representatives of Gamma Phi Beta said the event supports both Girls on the Run and student participants from GVSU.
“The event planning tactics, along with volunteer opportunities, give members the ability to showcase their confidence. This shows girls and women in our communities that Gamma Phi Betas are committed to building one another up,” Svendor said. “We were proud to see a number of non-Greek affiliated teams participate in our first annual moonball.”
Officials of Gamma Phi Beta, which was founded in 1874 and implemented on GVSU campus in 2010, said encouraging girls to be strong and healthy is of utmost importance.
“Not everyone may realize how important it is to build up girls to be strong and confident women,” Svendor said. “A fun event such as our volleyball tournament is a great way to draw people in and educate them about the importance of building strong girls.”
The sorority’s representatives said hosting a sporting event like moonball is a great way to encourage all participants to be more active and engage in healthy competition.
"Gamma Phi Beta chose a sports event to help demonstrate how important it is to be active. Not only is it good for your health, but it’s fun,” said Svendor “And a little competition never hurt anyone.”
Members of Gamma Phi Beta said participating in the sorority has helped them find community, even if it was not where they expected.
“If you would have asked me three years ago if I would be in a sorority, I would have laughed," she said. "If you told me I’d be leading a department of girls to plan events, I wouldn’t have believed you.
"People may say that I pay for my friends, but I think joining a sorority and going Gamma Phi has been one of the greatest investments in both my collegiate and professional experience.”
Sisters in Gamma Phi Beta also said the sorority offers opportunities for personal growth that may prove to be marketable after finishing their studies at GVSU.
“My favorite memory being in Gamma Phi Beta so far would be being elected as public relations vice president. There’s no better feeling than feeling the love and support of your sisters,” said Svendor. “I’ve grown socially, emotionally, physically, academically, professionally and have Gamma Phi to thank for all of that.”