Andre Malabanan

Staff Writer

In the pursuit of giving help to Syrian, Palestinian and other Middle Eastern children in need, LCCC’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) together with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) spearheaded their first sports fund raising event on March 17 at LCCC’s PE building gymnasium.

With the mission to provide medical and humanitarian relief to Arab children, PCRF has long been partnering with the MSA for fund raising activities where funds go directly to the organization who has been supporting children who have medical needs in the Middle East.

“The president previously of MSA used to do donations and has been connected to PCRF all the time so when I became president, we just continued to do that,” said Yasmeene Younis, president of the Muslim Student Association in LCCC.

The MSA conducted a basketball tournament for the first time, which they consider as their biggest event for this academic year 2017-2018. According to Younis, they have been long doing fund raisers before but in a more formal setting.

“We usually have a dinner fund raising with the PCRF. In that dinner we have Arabic food. Last year, we had a guest speaker from PCRF, we had a dance troupe who dances Middle Eastern dance, they came and they did that for us last year,” she said.

With the suggestion from a PCRF representative, they considered the idea of conducting a more casual fund raising activity. “I thought that the young people would want to be involved to something like this. I think it was just maybe not good timing because a lot of people are on break. Had we done it maybe when everybody was still in school, maybe we’ll get more participants,” said Hanan Mahmoud, a representative from PCRF.

According to Younis, there were eight teams who signed up for the basketball tournament but only six teams showed up during the actual event on Mar. 17. These teams with five players each named Cavs, Palestine, Resistance, Ringers, Big Ballers and A Americans, chose their own team names and as part of the fund raising, paid registration fee of five dollars per player. Audience who wants to watch the game also has a 5 dollar admission fee.

Aside from the game, there are other fund raising activities as well to boost their collection.

“Everything that we got today, the ticket sales, bake sales, the raffle sales, will go to the PCRF organization for the children overseas. The organization usually takes the money and uses the fund for whoever needs help at that time, so they have these many children waiting for surgeries, or medicines who need help to afford it,” said Younis.

On their plans to follow up this fund raising event, Younis said that they have been planning to continue doing different kind of sports tournament to give it a variety and gain more interest from the students.

“Seeing everybody happy no matter how hard it was during the planning, it pays off at the end. Such bad things are happening overseas right now and it’s not just Palestine that the organization is helping. We do not care of how much we earn from these as long as we’re helping people,” she said.