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AOII Strike Out helps those in need

October 12, 2006

Near the end of July, junior Maria Hockert and senior Lyndsay Nelson were searching for ideas for their sorority’s philanthropy event, and then a big idea hit them.

They decided to host a softball tournament before the winter weather began.

After just a few months of preparation, the two women and their sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII), are ready to put it all together and host the event.

This Saturday at 9 a.m. on the intramural softball fields, the Strike Out for Arthritis Softball Tournament will take place.

“The proceeds raised go to arthritis research. It’s our chapter’s philanthropy,” Hockert said. “It’s the first year, and we hope to make it an annual event.”

Each team was expected to raise at least $100 to donate for the cause, and an average of 15 people are registered. Each year, AOII raises money for arthritis and juvenile arthritis research. 

However, the women didn’t receive as many registered teams as they hoped.

“We expected a stronger response from the Greek and recreation community,” Hockert said. “But we’re pleased with what we got.”

Each participant will receive a T-shirt and BBQ.

“I don’t think the cost should have been a factor, but it probably was,” Hockert said. “I don’t think I would change it for next year.”

She said if a team had 10 players, each would only have to donate $10.

Hockert said the response from the community was overwhelming. She has received donations from a number of River Falls businesses and off-campus teams are also participating in the event.

“We have to thank them for sure,” Hockert said of the outside support.

During the past few months, Hockert has been putting at least a few hours a day of work into the tournament and received a lot of support from Nelson.

“I’m here for a lot of support. I’ve calmed Maria down,” Nelson said. “I’m also keeping people motivated.”

Hockert and Nelson just plan on being behind the scenes in the tournament instead of taking part; Nelson said she might play.

“I haven’t picked up a glove in years,” Nelson said. “It should be quite hysterical. If someone needs comic relief they should come.”

Otherwise, Nelson plans to make sure everything runs well.

“We don’t want people to notice we’ve never done this before,” she said.

Recreational Leadership Coordinator Kurran Sagan and Hunt/Knowles Director Steve Stocker have been crucial in helping the tournament put everything together efficiently.

“It’s hard work, but rewarding.“It’s just a bunch of people who like to play softball,” Nelson said. “It’s a fun day while helping the greater good.”