Pi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma volley for philanthropy

By on September 28, 2015
IMG_1114 copyTara O'Neill

There were students gathered by the volleyball courts, watching who would spike their way to victory. For one day, York Hill was turned into a beach party.

The third annual Sets on the Beach event took place outside of Crescent residence hall on Saturday, Sept. 26. The event featured a volleyball tournament, along with raffles, a DJ, grilled cheese and ice cream.

The tournament was sponsored by Phi Sigma Sigma and Pi Kappa Phi. All money raised will go to their philanthropies.

Pi Kappa Phi’s philanthropy is The Ability Experience, which raises money and awareness for people with mental and physical disabilities. Phi Sigma Sigma’s philanthropy is School and College Readiness, which gives school supplies and tutoring to underprivileged children.

Phi Sigma Sigma’s head of philanthropy, Nicole Kalish, fondly remembered helping kindergarteners learn handwriting and sentences.

“It’s very fun working with kindergarteners, because they are not very focused, but they love school, so they’re very energetic, so getting them to calm down and do their work is a little bit of a challenge, but it worked out, “ Kalish said.

Alex Tonkonogy, the philanthropy chair of Pi Kappa Phi, is currently organizing a trip to volunteer at a nursing home and preparing for Pi Kappa Phi’s fundraising concert, the Electric Ability Carnival. However, his giving back to the community isn’t strictly related to The Ability Experience.

One of Tonkonogy’s favorite times helping out involved a local museum last year.

“[When] we went over, the museum was just a disaster, outside and inside, [so] we really cleaned up the entire thing and made it look almost like it was brand new,” he said.

Tonkonogy was also a part of one of 30 teams that played during “Sets.” Each team had six players, competing in the single-elimination tournament to see who was the best of the best.

Michael Lombard’s team was aptly named “We Don’t Go Here” since he and his fraternity brothers are from Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of New Haven (UNH). Lombard is the president of the fraternity and said him and his team decided to go when they heard about the event via Facebook.

“The event is great. The attendance is something I wish we could have at UNH. I just think [Quinnipiac’s] policies and procedures are a little bit easier for organizations and clubs,” he said

Junior Helen Harding, member of Pi Beta Phi, was impressed with the appearance of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

“It just shows that it’s not only our community, but a bigger community coming together,” she said.

The final match was a grueling battle, accompanied by music such as the Europe song “The Final Countdown.” In the end, it was Tonkonogy’s own team,  “Pi Kap 2” who won this year’s “Sets.” They earned the sweet taste of victory: $50 donated to a philanthropy of their choice–that being The Ability Experience–and free ice cream.

Tonkonogy credits his team’s chemistry for the win. Having also won “Sets” last year, he looks forward to defending his title for a third year in a row.

However, the real winners are the philanthropies, which this event raised about $800 dollars for, according to Kalish.

Kalish was proud of the work they did and felt the partnership between the two Greek organizations worked well.

“Pi Kap and Phi Sig forever,” Kalish said.

Tonkonogy seconded Kalish’s statement.

“Killin’ it as always,” he said.

CORRECTION: In the original article, Kalish said the event raised about $1,000. Kalish said in n email the event raised closer to $800. The article now reflects these changes.

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About Matt Grahn

Staff Writer, Journalism Major, Political Science Minor