Annual game ball runs successful

By By , Staff Writer

By Josh Bennett, Staff Writer

Move over cross-country team, the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity annually runs 45 miles to bring awareness to children with cancer.

The fraternity and the U’s ROTC cadets ran a symbolic game ball between the Salt Lake City and Provo stadiums, a distance of 45 miles, depending on where the game is played each year. In the annual tradition, the U cadets passed the ball off to BYU’s ROTC cadets at the halfway point in Draper for them to carry the rest of the way.

With the Pi Kappa Alpha event, the fraternity brothers raised money for Camp Hobe, a special summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings.

Saturday at 6 a.m., the fraternity presented a check to representatives of Camp Hobe at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, and then the run began. In all, 35 fraternity members participated in the first run held during the day instead of through the night.

“It was awesome,” said Jeff Uphold, a member of the fraternity and a senior in political science and mass communication. “We did it during the day this year. There was a lot more interaction with the fans driving down from both sides. It was cool, and it brought more publicity to Camp Hobe.”

During the run, they drove a U-Haul full of Pi Kappa Alpha members. At all times, there were two members running, one with the ball and the other brandishing a flag with “Pike” and “the University of Utah” on each side. When one member became tired, one of the fraternity brothers would take his place.

For the past 21 years, Pi Kappa Alpha has considered the Game Ball Run its biggest philanthropy event, Uphold said. He said he has participated in the event for three years.

The run concluded in Provo, at Lavell Edwards Stadium, where fraternity representatives were invited onto

ESPNRadio and given a 30-second plug on the show, allowing a good chance to get Camp Hobe’s name out there, Uphold said.

Although the ball the members ran to Provo was not the actual ball used during the game, the fraternity has bigger plans for the years to come.

Pi Kappa Alpha is working on receiving more donations and bringing the actual ball to the stadium for the future, said Bryon Elwell, a member of the fraternity and a senior in economics and political science.

The fraternity raised an estimated $11,000, which was right on for its goal. The goal was to raise 10 to 12 percent of Camp Hobe’s budget, Uphold said. Each member was encouraged to raise more than $100, but some people went for more, he said.

“I’m sore, to say the least,” Uphold said after finishing. “You just push yourself to get it done.”

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Tyler Cobb/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Benjamin Hansen celebrates after catching a pass from Ute quarterback Jordan Wynn to start the ROTC game ball run. The run is one of two that happens each year. The other is done by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.