Alpha Chi Omega kicks off annual bracket challenge

Fundraiser benefits Shelter for Help in Emergency

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The Alpha Chi Omega sorority house

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

The Alpha Chi Omega sorority is holding their annual bracket challenge to raise money for the Shelter for Help in Emergency, a center working to end domestic violence in the local community.

Emma Katovitz, a third-year College student and vice chair of philanthropy, has been responsible for organizing the bracket challenge this semester.

“The bracket challenge has kind of been a tradition since I have gone to U.Va., to the best of my knowledge we have always done it to support our philanthropy,” Katovitz said.

Katovitz said although the challenge is unaffiliated with ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, it is structured in a very similar way.

“You look at the tournament, you predict who’s going to win,” Katovitz said. “The person with the most accurate bracket is the one who wins.”

The brackets, which are $3, are being sold alongside $15 t-shirts.

“The back [of the shirt] says ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’ in huge letters — that’s the big thing,” Katovitz said. “If you look at the cover photos for the event it says ‘Alpha Chi Omega presents the Bracket Challenge 2017 benefitting the Shelter for Help in Emergency because love shouldn’t hurt.’”

The prize for the winner of the bracket challenge is a signed ball from University Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett. Katovitz said this has been the prize every year.

“The team itself cannot help out because it violates ACC rules,” Katovitz said.

Third-year College student Callie Hern is also a member of Alpha Chi Omega, and has helped make it possible for donations to be processed online.

“I think having that donation page has increased donations because I don’t remember if there were large straight donations from tabling, when professors might come by and donate $5,” Hern said. “But we have now had some large donations which is really awesome.”

Katovitz also said several members of the sorority volunteer with the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

“We have around 15-20 girls that volunteer there from our chapter,” Katovitz said. “You can volunteer at the shelter, you can answer hotline calls, you can watch kids and you can basically deal with their clients.”

Hern, who also volunteers on a regular basis at SHE, gave some insight into the kind of work she does at the shelter.

“You go to the shelter and work five hour shifts on a weekday and do hot-lining and kind of be a supervisor between the day time staff leaving and the night shift coming in,” Hern said.

Hern also said the older members really encourage the younger girls to get involved with the shelter.

“It’s a really eye-opening experience just in terms of how they handle situations like that so we really encourage the younger girls to do it,” Hern said. “I know a lot of them are interested in doing the training once it starts after spring break.”

Katovitz said they have already raised almost $2,000 in bracket sales, with a couple more days to go before sales close.

“Sales close on Monday so we are just hoping to get the last final push,” Katovitz said. “Go Hoos!”

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