Courtesy of Cornell Red Cross

From the left to right: Andrés Blanco, Gabriella Canale (Project Manager), Tommy Sauer and Jmes Kim participate in the Cornell Red Cross Charity Fundraiser Tournament in Barton Hall on Nov. 13, 2022.

November 13, 2022

First Annual Cornell Red Cross Volleyball Tournament Doubles as a Fundraiser and Outing for Friends

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On Sunday, teams gathered in Barton Hall to participate in the Cornell Red Cross volleyball tournament fundraiser, with the winning team getting to donate their earnings to a charity of their choosing. 

The Cornell Red Cross is sponsored by the American Red Cross, which emphasizes making a difference through assistance in medical emergencies, disaster relief and veteran affairs. The Cornell-based organization hopes to do the same.

“We’re really just trying to do a part of that at Cornell and give back to the community that we are going to call home for the next four years,” said Vice President of Service Projects Royce Perera ’25.     

In the past, Cornell Red Cross has organized events such as food and clothing drives, leaving notes for healthcare workers and selling teddy bears in a collaboration with the Movies on the Arts Quad.

This year, Project Team Chair Gabriella Canale ’25, the main organizer of the volleyball tournament, wanted to hold a fundraising event different from those in the past.

“All of us are very interested in athletics and we wanted to do something a little more active that got the community involved and excited about raising money,” Canale said. “I think the aspect of friendly competition is a great way to get people excited about participating in events for fundraising.” 

The tournament consisted of 16 teams who competed in a single-elimination style bracket. These teams were made up of four to six players, each playing for a charity of their choosing in lax, self-scored games.

Teams were made up of friends and intramural groups looking to have fun while serving a good cause. Players believed that the charity match fostered competition and team spirit.

“You combine the love of the sport with a great opportunity to help the community,” said Amy Sheen ’24. “With such a great incentive and motivation, I think there’s nothing really that can go wrong.”

Both finalists of the tournament planned to donate to the No Kid Hungry organization, a national campaign working to solve child hunger and poverty.   

“I always hear good things about No Kid Hungry…it’s a charity that I definitely trust,” said Justin Kang ’23.   

The tournament proved to be both a successful fundraiser and social event, with players reporting they had made new friends through other teams.

“With tournaments like this that are completely inclusive, anyone could participate…It turns something that could have just been a regular fundraiser into an outing with friends,” said Adaora Nwosu ’24.

With the club being founded in 2018, Bella Nevarez ’23, president of Cornell Red Cross, is excited to see how the organization will grow in the future, hoping to make the tournament an annual event.  

“As we are still a growing organization, it has been amazing, as president, to see the expansion of our club and our impact,” Nevarez said.