Phi Beta Sigma hosts Hoops 4 Haiti

Saturday’s philanthropy event raised $700 to donate to relief efforts in Haiti.

A participant in Phi Beta Sigma’s Hoops for Haiti basketball tournament runs down the court at a YMCA rec. center in North Minneapolis on Saturday. The basketball tournament raised money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Joe Michaud-Scorza

A participant in Phi Beta Sigma’s Hoops for Haiti basketball tournament runs down the court at a YMCA rec. center in North Minneapolis on Saturday. The basketball tournament raised money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Alex Holmquist

Though the earthquake in Haiti may have fallen to the back of some studentsâÄô minds, others are working to make sure its victims are not forgotten. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., a recently reinstated fraternity at the University of Minnesota, hosted Hoops 4 Haiti on Saturday, a basketball tournament to support relief efforts in Haiti. Sixteen teams competed in the tournament âÄî eight youth teams and eight adult teams. Each team paid a $40 registration fee, and spectators were asked to donate at least $3 or three canned goods to gain admission to the tournament. All of the proceeds will be donated to the relief efforts in Haiti. Winners received prizes donated by the Minnesota Timberwolves, including game tickets and T-shirts. Sam Ndely, vice president of the Pi Eta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma at the University, said he and his fraternity brothers began planning the event the day after the earthquake occurred but were having trouble finding somewhere to host it. âÄúThings were kind of expensive,âÄù Ndely said. Phi Beta Sigma partnered with the North Community YMCA Youth and Teen Enrichment Center in north Minneapolis, which donated the venue for the tournament, and 3 Way Entertainment, a local music production company that provided entertainment during halftime. Members of the YMCA Black/Multicultural Achievers Program, a national college-readiness program to help teens of color pursue higher education and career goals, co-hosted the event. Fatimah Muhammad, youth development director at the YMCA, said she and the program participants were more than happy to help sponsor the event. âÄúItâÄôs a critical time for Haiti right now,âÄù Muhammad said. âÄúKnowing our obligation to the community is important.âÄù The UniversityâÄôs Black Student Union also hosted a table at the event and has been collecting clothing donations at Coffman Union for earthquake victims. Other students, including Jacob Schwartz and Rashawn Shaver, both first-year students at the University, competed in the tournament to support the cause and have a good time, they said. Schwartz and Shaver said they had been trying to spread the word about the event for the past two weeks and had been encouraging students and community members to participate. âÄúItâÄôs an interesting fundraiser for Haiti rather than just a party to raise money,âÄù Shaver said. Ndely said the event raised $700 to donate to relief efforts in Haiti, and the group is still receiving donations. âÄúBasketball is a great way to bring people together,âÄù Schwartz added.