If you have been meandering around campus within the last week, you may have noticed a giant, inflatable beach ball tumbling turbulently towards you. No, this isn’t part of the next Indiana Jones film, but rather an annual fundraiser by Gannon University’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter. The humongous toy is actually a device used to create funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, ZBT’s national philanthropy.
“Our brothers go around campus rolling a 72-inch beach ball all around campus and stop at popular areas for traffic, such as the entrance to the Waldron Campus Center or Morosky,” Abrar “Ricky” Rahman, ZBT president, said. “Along the way, we ask people to donate any amount of their choice to our philanthropy. In return, those that donate have the option to sign and thus ‘get on the ball’.”
When checking on the fraternity’s progress, I found them perched outside Waldron Campus Center. Three brothers were in charge of collecting money, and convincing people to donate. Amid the crowd of students and faculty, people were eagerly donating and signing the ball.
According to sophomore ZBT brother, Sean Raia, business has been booming. “In the past, we’ve raised around $800 for the Children’s Miracle Network and St. Vincent’s Pediatric Ward. This year, after our first day, we raised $250,” Raia said.
“Get On the Ball” is a tradition among all 90 chapters of Zeta Beta Tau. “‘Get on the Ball’ was started by the Zeta Beta Tau brothers of the Beta Zeta Epsilon Chapter at the University of Maryland – College Park. Designed to create a fun, worthwhile way of raising funds for charity, “Get on the Ball” quickly became popular,” Rahman said.
While “Get On the Ball” is one of the fraternity’s successful fundraisers, they also participate in other fundraisers for the Children’s Miracle Network. One involves selling raffle tickets and auctioning off a large TV, or another involves the brothers shaving their heads in exchange for a certain amount of money being donated.
While Zeta Beta Tau’s annual fundraiser might remind you of a booby trap in an action movie, it is an excellent way to raise awareness for St. Vincent’s Hospital and donate money to a charitable cause. If you happen to come across some ZBT brothers rolling a huge inflatable sphere down AJ’s Way, don’t be afraid to stop, donate, and have a ball with Zeta Beta Tau.