The James Madison volleyball team and the Kappa Zeta chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity have maintained a close relationship throughout the years. Both groups have supported each other in regards to athletic events and fundraising activities. On Thursday, December 6, 2012 members of the volleyball team and ATO collaborated on a fundraising event to help raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.
The two groups held an exhibition match in Godwin Hall's Sinclair Gymnasium that required a donation of any amount in order to enter. Members of ATO who were not participating in the match were in attendance along with supporters of the volleyball team and other JMU students. The fundraising effort was put together by Samuel Datta of ATO and volleyball associate head coach Ron Sweet, and it was the first time the event had taken place. The groups raised a total of $350 for the project with all proceeds going directly to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The importance of a fundraising effort such as this one was equally stressed by members of the volleyball team as well as members of ATO. Both groups have close ties to the military including family members, friends and brothers from the fraternity. When asked about the significance of a fundraising activity like this, senior outside hitters Danielle Erb and Natalie Abel both agreed that giving back to the community on a much larger scale was necessary and rewarding. "This was a great event for an even greater cause." Erb said, as Abel added that "helping out a cause bigger than JMU and having a positive impact on our country is a fulfilling experience."
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2002. The overall mission of the organization is to "honor and empower wounded warriors of the United States Armed Services." The purpose of the organization has been broken down into three parts including: "To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, and to direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members." To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project or to make a donation, visit their webpage.
JMU Volleyball has also shown their support for the United States Armed Forces earlier this year with their involvement with the Honor Flight Network, an organization that transports Veterans to the Nations Capital to visit memorials dedicated in their honor.