GSP 68-hour volleyball tournament raises funds and sets world record

Posted May 16, 2012

For nearly three straight days, the men of social club Gamma Sigma Phi filled Moody Coliseum with cheering, volleyballs, sportsmanship and a whole lot of heart. GSP hosted a 68-hour volleyball tournament to raise money.

In the process, they raised $16,000 and set a new world record for longest consecutive volleyball tournament.

Matt Sanderson, junior marketing major from Lubbock, Texas and GSP Service Activities Coordinator, helped organize the event.

"In the past, GSP had raised money through a 60-hour softball game, a 68-hour volleyball game, a bike ride to Pepperdine University in California, and a long-distance run to Arkansas. After hearing about these great accomplishments, I knew we needed to do something big this year," Sanderson said.

The club did something big indeed. From 3 p.m. on Friday, April 30, to Monday, May 2 at 11 a.m., club members served, set, and slammed for 68 hours and 68 minutes, in commemoration of the year 1968, when the club was founded.

Members donated an initial fee to play in the tournament and sent out hundreds of support letters to family, friends and ACU alumni. The funds raised have already been given to the Habitat For Humanity organization.

Sanderson says meeting the woman who will move into the new Habitat home was a moving experience for him: "Jessica teared up, hugged me, and thanked us for giving her the first house she will ever own." The woman's seven-year-old son participated in the event and hit the first serve to start the tournament.

Don Garrett, GSP sponsor and Director of Advancement at ACU, praises the club's efforts.

"GSP is a great group of guys who are genuinely interested in ACU and the greater Abilene community. Members have worked with Habitat for Humanity prior to this effort, building fences and helping with the construction of houses. Starting in the Fall, GSP members will help put the volleyball tournament funds to use in a meaningful way," Garrett said.

Read articles in The Optimist and Abilene Reporter News for more coverage on the tournament.