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Playing Ball for a Cause

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

On November 8th, the Men of Color Success Initiative organized an event to help raise money for the Eva’s Village Foundation. The event took place at the PCCC gymnasium, where members of the Men of Color Success Initiative participated in a basketball tournament. The Men of Color Success Initiative has raised $900.

Naquan Mcdowell, an ambassador of the Men of Color Success initiative and James Sanders, Co-Founder of the Men Of Color Success Initiative, were both significantly proud of the outcome of their event and how much effort and time that their members has put into this fundraiser. “Our goal was to be able to give at least five hundred items to them and any type monetary we can give, we thought maybe we are gonna give at least five hundred dollars, but we actually almost double that...we are here for support,” Mcdowell said.

One of the ambassadors of Men of Color Initiative, Casey Bucceri, who works in Eva’s Village, pitched the idea, with the collaboration of other members, to help fund for the organization. The Eva’s Village foundation was founded in 1982 and it is an anti-poverty organization in the state of New Jersey, where they help thousands of men, women and children each year by their programs and support.

The organization provides services to the hungry, homeless and people with addictions. Providing food and shelter, while also providing educational programs, medical programs and substances abuse treatment. “We felt like we were receiving a lot of help and support; we felt like we can’t keep we decided to take the opportunity to give to the people who need it as well,” Mcdowell said. The opportunity in giving back and connecting to the community is part of the core values within the Men of Color Initiative. their goal is to spread awareness about the Initiative and make the college a better and more positive environment.

With the help of their sponsors from the PCCC Bookstore, EoF, Trio and the PCCC athletic department, the Men of Color Success Initiative, were able to organize the event. Following the tournament, some participants who were competing, such as NaQuan McDowell, Andrew Fair, Marvin Espana, Chris Rodrigues, Ahzyi Anderson, Jay Martinez, Moses Parker, Alan Tiburcio, James Sanders and ect, were preparing in advance for the event by practicing in the PCCC gymnasium.

“We have for the last three or four weeks, most of the people who would be competing, we choose a day like Wednesday at one or two o’clock at the gym and just ball to get that rust off.” McDowell said. Sanders, who usually wears suit and tie to work, surprised players in participating in the tournament and showed off his athletic part of himself to the other members of the Men of Color Initiative, who were Unaware of Sander’s love for sports.

“I love to play sports! So this way a very good opportunity to connect with guys as well,” Sanders said.

The bleachers were filled with supports from student, teachers and staff administrators, who were laughing, cheering and generally having a good time throughout the event.

Music was also provided in the event by Financial Aid staff, Ricky, that helped DJ and motivate the players with variety of beats and songs to liven up the crowd.

Once the tournament was over, Panther T-Shirt were thrown to the crowd , raffles were played, supporters participated in a contest in making the most baskets with ball and with the energizing atmosphere, majority of the crowd danced in the gym. Everyone enjoyed themselves, making this fundraiser a success for the Eva’s Village foundation, and the Men of Color Initiative.

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