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One year after the tragic death of one of its members, Ricardo “Rico” Petrillo, Tau Kappa Epsilon gathered once again to pay tribute to their fallen brother by playing dodgeball.
“Dodgeball was Rico’s favorite event to do during rush and he always had an outfit to wear for the event,” said Scott Wormser, a senior member of the fraternity. “He was really passionate about recruiting new guys so we knew dodgeball would be a perfect event honoring him.”
The fraternity held its second annual Ricardo Petrillo Dodgeball Tournament Sept. 18 in the recreation center where more than 50 teams and 400 people merged to play dodgeball and keep the spirit of Petrillo alive.
Petrillo was a Quinnipiac University sophomore and member of Tau Kappa Epsilon who died Sept. 18, 2005 after falling three stories from a Hilltop apartment.
The proceeds from the tournament will go towards a scholarship fund in Petrillo’s name.
“All proceeds from the tournament will be deposited into the Ricardo Petrillo Scholarship Fund, which will be distributed through the TKE Education Foundation,” said Ryan Hagenbuch, a junior and member of TKE.
Wormser explained how the tournament worked.
“Teams sign up to play within a week in advance and pay a fee of $20 that goes to the scholarship. The fraternity then makes a bracket of guys vs. guys and girls vs. girls,” he said.
This was the second tournament held in memory of Petrillo. The first took place last semester and was run by the new members of TKE. It was required that the fraternity have a principal of $5,000 in the account before it could award a scholarship. TKE has already exceeded that amount and hopes to keep increasing it by next semester when the scholarship will be awarded to a Quinnipiac student.
“After the tournament and everyone’s generosity, we now have over $8,000 in the fund between both tournaments,” Hagenbuch said. “We hope to give out our first scholarship this spring.”
“The qualifications for the scholarship will be determined soon by both the fraternity and the Petrillo family,” Wormser said.
This year’s tournament raised $6,574, including a $5,000 donation from Petrillo’s family. Petrillo’s father Claudio, mother Silvia, sister Ana, brother Gabe, and cousin Jose came to the tournament wearing the t-shirt created for the event.
The t-shirts, designed by TKE sophomore Rick Wallace, were white with red writing and a silhouette of a person throwing a dodgeball. The back read: “The ties that bind each heart of us, become a living part of us.”
Hagenbuch hopes that the tournament will continue to help the campus remember Petrillo.
“Rico’s family, as well as TKE, is fully committed to keeping Rico’s spirit very much alive here at Quinnipiac,” he said.
According to the fraternity, the tournament may be a semi-annual event and will always be held in Petrillo’s name.
University administrators and staff members also demonstrated their support for the brothers of the fraternity.
“The student center staff was behind us every step of the way,” Wormser said. “They supported us throughout the day, which was important because we were remembering a best friend and brother while putting together an event.”
The winning team for the tournament was comprised of TKE alumni who competed as “Team Miguel.” The brothers on the winning team decided to give their prize to the second place team, which consisted of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity members.
Wormser hopes the tournament will only get better in future years.
“My expectations for this tournament are to grow the amount of teams, how much money we raise and the availability of the gym so it can be a faster tournament,” he said.
Hagenbuch has similar goals.
“We have large yet attainable goals for this tournament in the future,” he said. “Our main goal is to have the dollars raised grow alongside the popularity of dodgeball.