Undergraduates from Sigma Phi Epsilon gather for brunch prior to the Augie Nelson Golf Tournament. The day provides a chance to support a great cause while having fun at the same time.
The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity raised nearly $12,000 last Saturday at their annual Augie Nelson Golf Tournament at Meadowlark Hills in Kearney. A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Nebraska Kidney Foundation. This is the 12th year of the tournament, which continues to be one of the most successful philanthropic events hosted by a UNK fraternity.
Augie Nelson of Minden, who was part of SigEp’s 1965 charter class at UNK, inspired the tournament. He won his battle with kidney disease and continues to attend the tournament each year.
Money for the foundation is raised through hole-sponsorships collected from local businesses. SigEp alumni and donating businesses participate in the tournament by paying a registration fee that is also contributed. This year there were 28 teams of four that competed.
Organizers say it isn’t just the cause that makes the event so successful, but that it is also a way for alumni to connect with younger members.
“The alumni just love to come back and touch base with undergraduates,” says Kris Koelzer, a sophomore business administration major from Wood River, who organized this year’s tournament. “It gives them a chance to see how well we’re doing. They appreciate the time and effort that we put into the event.”
“The fact that alumni can come from all over the country and help out is amazing,” says Matthew Wecker, a sophomore pre-nursing major from O’Neill and Sigma Phi Epsilon president. “Undergrads have a chance to network and build friendships with alumni while supporting a cause that they all really care about.”