UNH’s Phi Sigma Sigma sorority hosted “Kicks for Kids”, a kickball tournament on Sunday, October 1 from 12:00-3:00 p.m. at Oyster River Middle School on Coe Drive in Durham, where it raised over $1,600 dollars in profits, with proceeds going towards the local charity, Portsmouth-based Families First.
This marks the second time the sorority has hosted the kickball tournament, a now annual event.
Phi Sigma Sigma President Kelsey Higgins, a senior psychology major, said last year’s success was the main catalyst for making the tournament annual.
“The event was a hit last year as it was our first year. We had beautiful weather and many teams signed up anxious to play,” Higgins said.
The event sparked competition between players, who entered the tournament by paying $7 per participant in suggested teams of 8-10 people. Over a dozen teams came to support the cause, with teams mostly comprised of students in fellow fraternities and sororities.
Freshman economics major Ian Berens, a new member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, sat on the sidelines excitedly awaiting the start of the event.
“I’m just happy to be here, trying to have some fun,” Berens said.
“Kickball is a really awesome game that people don’t typically play after high school gym class,” Higgins explained. “It’s not offered as an intramural sport, so it gives college kids a chance to play a gym class favorite again.”
All proceeds from the event will go to Families First, a health and support center based in Portsmouth. The center’s mission is to contribute to the health and well-being of the Seacoast community by providing a broad range of health and family services to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Phi Sigma Sigma decided to support Families First after looking into many schools around Durham. Already supporting a national philanthropy – the Kids In Need Foundation, picked by the sorority’s headquarters – the sisters wanted to extend their charity to a local organization as well.
“I’m from Portsmouth and I’ve been to Families First before and honestly it’s one of the realest things in our community,” said freshman athletic training major Audrey Walsh, who attended the tournament in support of Phi Sigma Sigma and Families First.
Phi Sigma Sigma sisterhood development chair Erin Doonan, a junior event management major, explained that the sisters visit Families First every Wednesday.
“It gives families the opportunity to drop off their children and be able to go to a parenting class or a doctor’s appointment. We play, eat snacks and read with the children,” Doonan said. “It’s a really awesome philanthropy.”
The event also provided both participants and attendees with opportunities to grab a hot or iced coffee from a cart run by Coffee Craving, serving unique flavors such as Raspberry Pop Tart and Pumpkin Butter.
“Coffee Craving is a well-known hot spot around the UNH campus,” Higgins said. “Many people make the trek all the way to Lee for their delicious coffee. We figured they would be awesome to come to our event to bring some foot traffic to watch the tournament. They are also so kind to do this on campus excursions.”
Melissa Bouchard, the owner of Coffee Craving, exemplified how excited Coffee Craving was to make its way to Durham yet again, donating 20% of their profits to Phi Sigma Sigma’s cause.
“We did this event last year, the sorority contacted us this year and we are always happy to do it!” Bouchard said.
With yet another successful event behind them, the sorority already looks forward to hosting it again next year.
“It went really well, regardless of the 46-degree weather. We had a lot of participants come out to play!” Higgins said.