September 19, 2013
Tompkins Golf Course, located behind the Margaret Scott Bundy Field House, is not usually the site of collegiate competition, spectator enthusiasm or big wins for the Hamilton community. Both the men’s and women’s golf teams practice and compete off campus, rendering the Hill’s own course a recreational and arguably underused resource.
But the brothers of Chi Psi, launching their philanthropic efforts for the academic year, breathed new life into the facility this past Sunday by hosting a successful charity golf tournament for 15 teams, pulling from Greek and non-Greek communities across campus.
“Golf has always been a common interest amongst brothers in the fraternity and we felt that there were many in the Hamilton community that shared this same interest. With golf being such a leisurely sport, we felt that it would be a great fit to kick off charity events for the year,” said Fumi Asaga ’14, the event’s coordinator and Chi Psi’s Philanthropy Co-Chair.
Although hosted by Chi Psi, the tournament was neither a Greek Philanthropy Union initiative nor a fraternity tradition. Instead, the brothers were motivated by what Asaga called a “spontaneous decision” to extend a competitive yet playful environment of sport to the entire Hamilton community.
The tournament was developed with this spirit of friendly competition in mind. Interested teams of four secured their spot in the tournament with $5, and competed not only for a $25 gift certificate to Giovanni’s, but the right to donate the funds raised to a single charity of the winner’s choice. The style of play was also modified to create a teamwork-driven, playful atmosphere.
“The rules of the game were a scramble style of play. This is where teams would all hit off the tee. The best shot off the tee would be the next spot to be shot from by everyone. This would continue until the team cohesively reached the hole. We felt these rules allowed for individuals on a team to not feel pressured for every shot they took, at the same time a competitive atmosphere was maintained amongst teams,” said Asaga.
With help from Director of Athletics John Hind, Associate Director of Athletics Kerri Fagan and Steve Stetson, head coach for men’s golf, the fraternity was able to organize, publicize and execute the event in a week’s time. Despite this small time frame, the event attracted heavy interest and enthusiasm from the student body.
“We signed up because we recognized that it was for a great cause and winning a free Giovanni’s pizza just sweetened the deal,” said participant Carter White ’14.
On the day of the tournament, around 60 spectators came to support the teams, which included members of the men’s and women’s golf teams, hockey players and a few of Chi Psi’s own members.
At the end of nine holes, two teams tied for the lowest overall score with 5 under par. The team of Xavier Morin ’17, Evan Haney ’14, Kenney Matheson ’16 and Dominic Jancaterino ’15 was named the winners along with White, Liz Morris ’16, Charlotte Chandler ’17 and Eli Shakun ’16.
Ultimately, the event generated $400 to be put towards charity. The two winning teams decided to donate the funds to a organization that would have an immediate impact on those in need. They singled out The Montgomery Experience, a local non-profit that works with children in the area who are living with leukemia, as the single recipient of the money.
“I was personally very happy with how things went. It really made me proud of being a part of this community knowing that people came out to support our idea,” said Asaga.
This example of outreach and service is a powerful model for future community service projects, Greek or otherwise. While the money raised will benefit the community at large, the event itself helped bring the campus community together and enjoy a special campus facility.
“I hope that the success of this event is the start of an annual tradition that Chi Psi is willing to put on for [all] Hamilton students to enjoy,” said White. “Hamilton students love getting the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant round of golf with a few friends on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.”