Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) is getting the ball rolling for Greek life fundraisers.
For the past four days, the brothers have been rolling a large beach ball across campus and collecting signatures to raise money for hospitals affiliated with the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for children’s hospitals and medical research on children’s health issues.
Fraternity president Jonathan Mizrahi, a junior double-majoring in political science and economics, said ZBT chapters host the ‘Get On the Ball’ annually throughout the country, pushing more than 90 chapters to raise money for the cause.
“Basically, our national organization does this event every year,” Mizrahi said. “They encourage all the chapters to do it; I would say a majority of the chapters do and obviously we wanted to take part in it because it is such a good cause.”
Every day, brothers take turns rolling the beach ball, which is 6 feet in diameter, around campus. While rolling, they ask students, faculty and staff to sign the ball. Each signature corresponds with a 10-cent donation from sponsors, which include various fraternities and sororities as well as local businesses.
According to Jared Luckman, ZBT’s communications director and a junior majoring in electrical engineering, the fundraiser requires copious planning, both to get sponsors and to navigate the logistics of having a giant beach ball at Binghamton University.
“We had to get sponsors, which was pretty difficult and is still pretty difficult,” Luckman said. “But also getting the ball a pump. It’s honestly kind of a pain to pump it up and deflate it and store it every day.”
With only 20 brothers in ZBT, Mizrahi said communication was also a big part of organizing a successful fundraiser.
“There is a lot of coordination between the brothers — we have to build a schedule and everyone needs to know when they’re supposed to be outside with the ball, rolling it around, which can get complicated,” Mizrahi said.
Timing the fundraiser was also important. According to Mizrahi, the fraternity wanted to hold the fundraiser during the first week of classes to ensure it had an impact, and to avoid coinciding with rush week and heavy workloads for classes. Holding the fundraiser early in the semester also allowed the fraternity to take advantage of sunshine and warm temperatures, a factor that contributes to the success of the charity effort. By the end of the four days, they collected a total of 1,400 signatures.
“There’s more foot traffic and people are more willing to stop if it’s 85 degrees out instead of 25 degrees,” Luckman said.