Fraternity raises money through annual ‘Corn Hole for a Cure’ tournament

Cristina Mazzone

Richard Shufritz said he was surprised and grateful when his fraternity told him it would be donating money to his family.

Alpha Tau Omega decided to give the funds from its annual ‘Corn Hole for a Cure’ to Shufritz’s father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago. The tournament, held Saturday, raised $3,200, with more donations still coming in, said Michael Richardson, Alpha Tau Omega president.

“I felt really honored that they decided to pick me and my family,” Shufritz said. “They are trying to help out any way they can, because it was a big financial burden with the surgery that my dad needed and because he had to stop working.”

Every year, Alpha Tau Omega chooses a member of the community who is struggling with a life-threatening illness to receive the money from the event.

Richardson said about 85 teams competed in this year’s competition, and roughly 200 people attended. Each team paid $20 to compete, and the fraternity also sold T-shirts for $15 at the event.

Something new this year, Richardson said, were the silicone wristbands that Alpha Tau Omega’s pledge class sold to raise more money. The bracelets came in a variety of colors and read “Corn Hole for a Cure” with the Alpha Tau Omega’s Greek letters on them. Richardson said the fraternity was able to raise several hundred dollars from the wristbands.

The fraternity held its first tournament in 2006 and raised $500. Richardson said the members decided on local families because they get to see the effects of their generosity.

“We are passionate about giving the check to a local individual family because we can see where the money is going and have that personal experience to really help someone,” he said.

The tournament is a bracket-style event, where the top three teams win prizes. Prizes included gift certificates donated from local businesses.

“This years was bigger than the past two years combined,” said Shufritz. “So I was really happy with the turnout, and my parents couldn’t believe how many people cared about us.”

Richardson said it’s important that the Greek community takes philanthropic events very seriously.

“When you actually write that check and give it to someone and they are in tears,” Richardson said, “well, I would pay thousands of dollars to be able to give that check to someone who truly needs it.”

Contact Cristina Mazzone at [email protected].