The second annual Rice Owl Bowl raised over $18,000 on April 18 for Somebody Cares, a charity currently involved in helping to rebuild houses devastated by Hurricane Ike last September.
The tournament was organized and presented by members of Rice University’s Sport Management Program, in Professor Tom Stallings’ Event and Facilities Management class (SMGT 366). The students organized, developed, and ran the event from scratch, with very little outside help.
“I’m very proud of my students and what they accomplished on their own,” Stallings said. “It’s always good to see the students go beyond the hedges and make a difference in the community outside Rice.”
“It was great to see everything we’ve done all semester come together and be a success,” said Rice sophomore project manager Becca Arriaga '11. “We weren’t just lectured on concepts and theories; this project enabled us to apply everything we’ve learned. Planning and organizing this event from start to finish and raising all that money for people affected by the hurricane was a really great experience.”
Trophies were awarded to the team and individual champions, as well as the largest single donor to the event, Ed Stanton, Sr., owner of Almeda Antique Mall, who also had his photo taken with former Rice football star James Casey.
“I thought it was awesome,” said Ruben Sanchez, of Somebody Cares. “When I heard about [the Owl Bowl] and was invited to come out here, I was really excited just to see everybody come together to do something to help the less fortunate.”
The evening’s events included an impromptu autograph session by Casey, who was drafted by the Houston Texans last weekend.
Somebody Cares is an international charity network based in Houston that has provided assistance to Houston’s homeless population since 1994. They raised over $200,000 to aid victims of the 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia and later distributed $30 million to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and evacuees in Houston.
Sport Management is an academic major at Rice University. Eighty undergraduate students are enrolled in the Sport Management Program, making it one of the largest majors on campus. Graduates of the program have gone on to careers in the sports industry, including positions with all of the professional sports teams in Houston.