Today, Her Campus McGill got a chance to interview Gamma Phi Beta’s Kathleen Tooker, the boss behind McGill’s favourite dodgeball tournament, MoonBall!
As the philanthropy chair of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and the president of McGill’s Panhellenic Council, she has brought numerous Greek and non-Greek organizations together and contributed so much in building a friendly community on campus. Continue reading to find out more about this beautiful #GirlBoss and the MoonBall tournament!
Averie Hah from Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): Hi Kathleen, thanks for joining me today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Kathleen Tooker (KT): Sure! I am a U3 student studying anthropology and history, and I also minor in law of politics and society here at McGill. Outside of school, I teach skiing at Mont Blanc, lifeguard at a public beach in P.E.I, and I used to be a competitive diver. In the Greek community, I serve as the president of McGill’s Panhellenic Council, which governs all sororities on campus, and I am the current philanthropy chair at Gamma Phi Beta.
HC McGill: What do you do as the president of the Panhellenic Council and as the philanthropy chair?
KT: Basically, I oversee the overall interaction among sororities, plan events and work to create a community based on friendship, philanthropy, and scholarship. This entails overseeing other Panhellenic Council executives’ work. As the philanthropy chair of Gamma Phi Beta, I plan and execute our philanthropy events. We’ve done a lot of philanthropy work, including a “Day of Service,” where sisters [volunteered] at the Boys and Girls Club of LaSalle, our semi-annual Crescent Classic called “Cookies for Crunch Time,” and of course, our annual MoonBall tournament which is upcoming.
HC McGill: What exactly is MoonBall?
KT: It’s a friendly black light dodgeball tournament hosted at the Atwater Club in Westmount! Individuals as well as teams sign up to compete against each other in a friendly game of dodgeball under blacklights, and it’s a lot like a party scene. We have neon body paint, many prizes to give away, pizza, and a DJ, so it’s more than just playing a game of dodgeball. Last year, we were able to raise over $2,000 for Montreal Children’s Hospital thanks to all of our participants who were all so supportive. In addition to raising money for charity, we also aim to create a friendly community vibe at McGill where everyone is welcome through our cross-McGill involvement.
Gamma Phi Beta sisters at MoonBall Tournament 2015
HC McGill: That sounds like a lot of fun! What can one expect from attending Moonball?
KT: In the previous year, over 300 people came out to play from different organizations and groups of McGill. Varsity sports teams like the football and the basketball teams, different faculty-oriented teams from Pharmacology and Education, and of course, all Greek organizations came to support us, so you can expect a very friendly environment where everyone is just there to have fun. We were able to create a party atmosphere, and you can even just come out to paint yourself with neon body paint, and dance! It’s also a very good opportunity to meet people from different groups at McGill, and of course, see what the Greek community is like here at McGill if you are interested.
HC McGill: Did you have any difficulties in planning MoonBall?
KT: Running the even itself can be very demanding. The logistics of having 4 games going at a time can get a bit hectic, on top of all the planning that goes into it beforehand. You have to make sure the right teams are playing the right people at the right time, and of course, we look out for safety concerns during games since the games can get a little too intense. But I have my committee members who help me with the logistics at the event.
HC McGill: I heard you are partnering up with a fraternity to host this tournament. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
KT: Of course. Last year, we co-hosted the event with the Zeta Psi fraternity, and they were very helpful. By co-hosting an event, we can foster more positive relationships with fraternities, and they bring in new, innovative ideas. We wanted to do the same kind of thing this year to reach a broader audience, and have access to a variety of communities at McGill, so this time, we are parterning up with Sigma Chi. As I mentioned, running the event can get very hectic, and the boys help out so much. They also help with heavy lifting, which is a bonus!
Last year’s co-hosting fraternity Zeta Psi at MoonBall
HC McGill: What are your goals for this year’s Moonball?
KT: Similar to what we were able to achieve last year, we want to help in building a McGill community through friendly games of dodgeball. And most importantly, all of our proceeds go to Montreal Children’s Hospital, so to raise as much money as possible is our main goal. We are aiming for about $2,500 this year!
HC McGill: What are some of the positives that you personally gain from planning an event like the MoonBall tournament?
KT: It is such a rewarding experience to see people all across McGill participate. Not only do I get to see Greek and non-Greek communities interact, but also I’m very happy to see everyone making positive connections. Moreover, seeing over 300 people support the same cause is an experience in itself. In addition, I think it’s good PR for not only Gamma Phi Beta, but also for the Greek community and McGill in general.
HC McGill: That sounds amazing! Do you have anything else you want to share about MoonBall?
KT: Yes, for sure! This year’s MoonBall tournament is on April 13th, and you can check out our event page on Facebook. It is $150 to sign up as a team, or $15 to sign up as an individual, so even if you don’t have a full team, you can sign up by yourself or with a group of friends! It’s going to be a lot of fun — this year, we have DJ Ziyaan who played for McGill events like Carnival and Faculty Olympics playing music for us, so you know it’s going to be a good one. If you’re intimidated by dodgeball, don’t worry because even if you don’t play, it’s a very fun environment — you can just come and eat pizza and party with us!
Photos provided by the interviewee.