By AUSTIN KOELLER
KEARNEY – A group of University of Nebraska at Kearney students is hosting a soccer tournament and using money raised to create wells and safe water in Haiti.
Sponsored by the UNK Newman Center, the Soccer for Safe Water Tournament is at 9 a.m. Saturday on the campus intramural fields. The Newman Center is the Catholic student ministry at UNK.
Proceeds from the soccer tournament will benefit Kearney-based Mission II Haiti, said Nathan Vinton, a senior biology major from Mullen and one of the event organizers. Mission II Haiti provides clean water for the people of Haiti by repairing and placing pumps over open wells.
Sister Rosemarie Maly, director of the Newman Center, said students chose to donate to Mission II Haiti because it is a local organization. “It gives us a chance to connect with a group from Kearney that reaches across the ocean – that goes international,” Maly said.
Maly said the event provides an opportunity for students and community members to give to a charity.
“The main thing is to do a charity event and provide a fun way to do it,” said Maly, adding that the Newman Student Ministry Council helps coordinate the tournament. “It got really popular because people like to play soccer. People just have a good time.”
In its fourth year, Vinton said this is the first year that UNK alumni will be participating as players in the tournament.
“We really try to provide an environment for the students to find a home away from home while they’re in college,” Maly said of the Newman Center. “It’s a place where they can find acceptance, belonging and support.”