Capture the Forty Acres!

In light of our biggest service event this Saturday, Novemeber 21, we asked our Chair of Capture the Forty Acres and Vice President of Settlement Home about CT40A!

Can you tell me about the history of Capture the Forty Acres?

Calli Conti – Chair of Capture the Forty Acres: 2014 marks the 8th year of Capture the 40 Acres, a capture-the-flag tournament that takes place across the majority of the UT campus. Each year the event brings together organizations and different groups of students from across UT's population for an afternoon of fun-spirited competition. This year we will have the Iron Spikes grilling food for us and we will also have food and drinks from various Austin culinary venues. In the past we have raised up to $6,000 from Capture the 40 Acres, which is all donated to Orange Jackets' main philanthropy, The Settlement Home for Children. We only hope that number will grow this year and in the years to come!

How does the money from Capture the Forty Acres benefit the Settlement Home?

Lauren Caton – Vice President of Settlement Home: Orange Jackets specifically work with the young women of the Therapeutic Group Homes. The homes provide a more family- centered setting as the girls transition to the Foster and Adoption Program or receive specialized treatment. The money raised from CT40A goes to support the activities and necessities provided in these homes. Such activities include the monetary costs of the girls' “stipends” for monthly visits to shopping malls and group movie outings. It also helps fund the wages, food costs and utilities that are used to help keep the homes functioning and staffed. The girls also attend school on the Settlement Home Campus and our money goes toward school supplies and into school activities as well.

What is your favorite part of working with the Settlement Home?

Lauren: The girls of the Settlement Home never cease to surprise me with their wide range of diverse talents! Many of them are skilled painters, artists and dancers and they are so excited to show us their work whenever we visit. They also never fail to surprise me with their interests in hobbies – from tye-dye jeans to extensive sharpie collections and running 5Ks ; these girls are as unique as they come! Their resiliency also inspires me. These girls are constantly pushing themselves out of their comfort zones at events like the Rock Climbing and Canoeing. Even though these activities can by physically stressing, they rise to the challenge and never give up!

Calli: My favorite part of Capture the 40 Acres is how competitive everyone gets. Of course it is all in good fun, but it is so fun to see people get so into the game. One particular team that always takes the competition above and beyond is Wranglers, so I look extra forward to seeing how they will play this year! I also love that every dime we make goes towards The Settlement Home. Since Orange Jackets works so closely with this organization, it's awesome to see how our fun event directly will impact these girls' lives!

Any advice for teams?

Calli: My advice is for teams to know the right moments to play defense versus offense. In every game there comes a point where all the members, or most members, in the team need to abandon their own flag and make an effort to get as many flags as they can. Decide when that point is with your team and GO FOR IT! Oh…and have a blast!

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