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Zeta Tau Alpha helps fight cancer with basketball

Joel Molina
Zeta Tau Alpa, a sorority at UTEP, hosted Hoops for a Cure, a fundraiser basketball tournament held on April 6 to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.

As basketball season reaches its climax, Zeta Tau Alpha decided to inject a little March Madness style basketball into its fight against cancer.

Zeta Tau Alpha sorority is working to give back to the El Paso community with Hoops for a Cure, a local basketball tournament featuring students and anybody wanting to participate. Held at UTEP’s student recreation center and led by nursing major and member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority Aida Gandara, the event was one that is near and dear to the sorority.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among women, and roughly 19% of women will pass away due to the disease. For these reasons, Gandara thought spreading awareness about breast cancer is important.  

“It’s really important first of all, not everyone knows about fraternity and sorority life on UTEP, and also it brings awareness to breast cancer and we’re able to educate people, just about the statistics and how it affects our community and the population as a whole,” Gandara said.  

Gandara’s inspiration initially came from the idea of pairing March Madness with philanthropy.  

“I was just interested in making something fun and being able to do that also by raising money for our philanthropy,” Gandara said. “We also have a volleyball tournament in the fall that we do, and I just wanted to bring something to the spring just to make it a little more fun, more interactive, put something fun in, and it’s perfect because it’s March Madness time, right? It’s basketball time.”   

For Zeta Tau Alpha, Hoops for a Cure is one of several means of community outreach and philanthropy the sorority chapter takes on during the year. Still, it inspired many students to attend the event. The chapter reached the donation goal they had set out.  

“We were able to make our goal, which was one thousand dollars, and we passed it last night, with our last team. We were able to put together 13 teams, so we were happy and excited about that.” Gandara said. 

Gandara wasn’t the only one excited about the achievement. Member of Zeta Tau Alpha Lilia Tovar was also excited to be out on the court supporting a great cause. 

“I’m here because I played basketball in middle school, and I think it’s a good foundation that we’re contributing to. Supporting breast cancer education and awareness. That is a really big issue close to my heart,” Tovar said. “I did have an aunt who had breast cancer, so I’m out here to bring awareness, raise money, donate to the foundation, and make sure that the community also knows how to check themselves for breast cancer and any other types of cancer.” .  

Tovar and her team weren’t focused on winning the tournament but more excited to support the cause. 

“It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, we’re here for a good time and supporting a good cause.” Tovar said.  

Breast cancer continues to affect millions of women every day, however groups like Zeta Tau Alpha want to remind them they are not alone in their fight.  

Jorge Guajardo is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected].


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About the Contributors
Jorge Guajardo
Jorge Guajardo, Staff Reporter
Jorge Ian Guajardo, is 30 years old and born and raised in El Paso. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English rhetoric. He is a contributor at The Prospector looking to lay the foundation for a long and successful career in journalism once he graduates.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Photo Editor
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the photo editor who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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