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Student Senate hosts annual volleyball tournament fundraiser

Photo by Amarha Bridger / Antelope Staff

UNK Student Senate hosted “Play it Forward” last Thursday to raise money for a local non-profit organization. The Cushing Fieldhouse brought students to get together with friends and compete in the annual volleyball tournament.

Tanner Jonas, secretary of community relations for Student Senate, chose Kearney Special Olympics as the organization to fundraise for this year.

“I’ve had previous relations with the Special Olympics,” Jonas said. “I’ve done volunteer stuff with them in the past. I talked to the executive team to see what they thought and if they had any suggestions, but we all unanimously decided on the Special Olympics.”

Kearney Special Olympics provides training and competition opportunities for children and adults with and without intellectual disabilities. The proceeds donated to them are used for equipment and to cover travel costs.

Members of the Student Senate hope the event builds relationships with local organizations in Kearney.

“One part is the philanthropy aspect,” said Sam Schroeder, speaker of the Student Senate. “But it’s also a great way of bringing UNK and the community together.” 

Entry to the tournament is a $30 fee per team and prizes were handed out at the end of the event. Prizes this year included T-shirts and Loper dollars for the winning team. Jonas said Student Senate decided to add prizes for second and third place this year as an incentive to get more teams involved. 

Seven teams competed in this year’s annual six-on-six, co-rec volleyball tournament. The Corn Loper team took the top prize.

One attendee, who has participated for the last four years, said he likes the social aspect of the event and wishes it happened more often.

“It’s good for me to make a lot of friends here,” said Yuma Shimamoto, a senior exercise science major. “I want to do it next semester.” 

Jonas said that the event is a wonderful place to socialize with peers and an opportunity to give back to the community.

“I think this is a great event and ‘Play it Forward’ is awesome,” Jonas said. “It gets the students involved, goes to a great cause, and overall we just hope everyone has fun tonight.”

  The “Play it Forward” volleyball tournament has been a tradition at UNK for years and the Student Senate is happy to keep it going for all current and future Lopers to enjoy.

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Amarha Bridger
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