The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity raised over $7,000 for the Ronald McDonald’s House of Charities of Amarillo at their annual softball tournament on April 5 and 6 at the Buffalo Sports Complex.
“The tournament was a great success,” ATO vice president and tournament co-chair Cedric Nguimatsa said. “This was my first year doing it, and according to older members we raised double what was raised the year before.”
Successful fundraising doesn’t happen without hard work, as ATO member and tournament lead floater Conrad Navarro points out.
“Everyone had a job, and it was met by just about everyone,” he said. “Everyone was required to reach a certain individual goal, and many members surpassed their goal. As far as member attendance to run the event, everyone showed up. It was great.”
For his individual job, Nguimatsa focused on sponsors, setting up the bracket, entertainment and announcements during the tournament. Navarro was the communicator, frequently checking on the other stations. However, even when every job is fulfilled, there were challenges.
“We ran into our fair share of challenges. The wind, fear of teams not showing up, and teams yelling and challenging the umpires,” Nguimatsa said.
In addition to those challenges, Nguimatsa said he found something to work on to make the next tournament better.
“The fraternity did an okay job of getting people at the tournament,” he said. “Because we concentrated so much on sponsors, we did not get as many teams as we could, but that is something we are looking to improve on.”
Such issues are never planned, but the tournament was still well planned, as Navarro indicates.
“Cedric Nguimatsa and Edward Akinyemi planned most of it out from the t-shirt designs to the Tab-a-Homerun Campaign, and even the autographed ball for a family staying at the Ronald McDonald house,” Navarro said.
The planning that Nguimatsa and Akinyemi did was worthwhile.
“From what I saw, a lot of people enjoyed the Homerun Derby just as much as the actual tournament, and they said they’d return next year,” Navarro said.
Nguimatsa said his favorite part of the tournament was the opening ceremony, which Navarro further explains.
“My favorite part of the tournament was when the children from the Ronald McDonald house threw the first pitch,” he said. “It seemed like it meant a lot to them from their smiles, their physical movements, and expressions.”
The first pitch began the tournament, but only one team triumphed at the end of the tournament.
“Drunken Disorder won the tournament,” Nguimatsa said. “It was a team compromise of adult and some college students.”
In the end, success in the tournament wasn’t measure by teams’ wins and losses, but by the amount of the funds raised.
“Overall the tournament was a big improvement from the first year. We raised $4,000 more than we did and donated trice as much as we did last year,” Nguimatsa said. “It is a time for WT students to come together and enjoy some fun competitive softball while raising money for a great organization.”