Rugby x Zeta Hosts “Pink Out”


On Saturday, Oct. 15, the SLU men’s club rugby team partnered with the SLU sorority Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Omega Chapter, and raised almost $400 during a benefit game played against Sunday Morning Rugby Football Club. The benefit was a “Pink Out” and the goal was to raise money for both the rugby team and Zeta’s chosen charities. 

The rugby team chose to donate their portion of the proceeds to the nonprofit organization, Breaking Taboo, which focuses on destigmatizing mental health challenges. Their fundraising campaign began in September and ended with the “Pink Out” game.

“One of the things I pitched [to the executive board] was that there has been a very big mental health crisis, especially last year [on campus],” said sophomore Anthony Cova, who plays flanker and hook on the rugby team. “Everybody goes through a lot and everyone’s mental health matters.”

“Last month was suicide awareness month and [mental health] is a pretty taboo topic that is worth talking about, especially considering the tragedies that took place last year,” said Sean Volcy, an outside center on the team. “We feel like it would be great to shed light on an issue that plagues people of all ages.” 

Zeta chose to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Anna Teien, head of Zeta’s philanthropic efforts at SLU, explained Zeta’s choice to partner with the foundation.

 The Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation determined breast cancer education and awareness its national philanthropy when they began a partnership with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation,” Teien said. 

 “1 in 8 women and 1 in 833 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life. Education and early diagnosis reduces these statistics which is why we strive to spread awareness while fundraising for research,” Teien said.

Members of the Zeta chapter sold baked goods during the game and the rugby team wore pink socks to show their support. They raised almost $400 and will split the proceeds evenly. 

“So many people were coming up to our table asking us about the Zeta and rugby philanthropies. We were able to educate and raise money for breast cancer education and awareness and mental health” said Haley Knueppel, a member of Zeta.                                      

Like the men’s rugby team’s campaign for mental health awareness, Zeta has hosted a number of events to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Teien said they have raised almost $8,000 from various events they hosted this fall, including their “Big Man on Campus” competition and “Think Pink” Carnival.

“Knowing players on the team made it more personal too. Cova, one of the “Big Man on Campus” contestants this year, is on the [rugby] team and it was fulfilling to watch him play and be a part of something that is important to him” said Knueppel.

Teien said they hope to continue raising money with their upcoming “Pink the Rink” Hockey Game and philanthropy sisterhood event.         

The “Think Pink” benefit game marks the end of the men’s rugby season. Reflecting on the season, Volcy says his team feels good as they wrap up with their philanthropic efforts.

“I definitely enjoy it more because of the people I’m surrounded by. There’s a lot of great guys on the rugby team, my roommate [Anthony] included. Despite how difficult the sport may be, the people you’re surrounded by make it worth it,” Volcy said.