Texas Royals host dodgeball tournament for Darrell K Royal Research Fund

Matthew Adams

Spirit group Texas Royals raised money for the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease with its first-ever philanthropy event, Dodging for DKR, Sunday.

The research fund began in 2012 after the University’s winningest football coach, Darrell K Royal, died from the disease. Following Royal’s death, his wife, Edith, helped create the fund to help prevent and defeat Alzheimer’s.

Madison Westbrook, Royals philanthropy chair and biology junior, said 18 teams signed up to participate in the dodgeball tournament. Westbrook said she was excited about the turnout because it was the group’s first time hosting its own philanthropy event.

 “Royals has been around for about two years, but we have not hosted or put on event like this before,” Westbrook said. “We have been involved with profit shares and ‘jewels,’ where our new classes [have] to raise $500 before they are initiated. This was a good experience to host an event but also raise money for a good cause.” 

Royals had two teams participate in the tournament before its last team was eliminated in the second round. 

Iron Spikes, another UT spirit group, had three teams competing in the semifinal round. One of its teams, the Dodgefathers, ultimately won the tournament.

 Eddie Babbe, computer science junior and Dodgefathers member, said participating and winning was a bonding experience for his class.

“This is a good win because we are the rookie class at Iron Spikes,” Babbe said. “With all of our different schedules, we spent time bonding by getting up at 6 a.m. several times a week, and we would play basketball or dodgeball together.”

Waid Barfield, economics senior and member of the second-place team from the Delta Chi fraternity, said their team’s focus was on creating an entertaining experience to raise money for the research fund.

 “We were just excited to participate in a good cause,” Barfield said. “We try to be involved in other groups’ events because it is the least we can do to come out and support another group’s cause.”

Westbrook said all of the money raised will be given to the research fund.