Ping pong for a cause at Elon Law

Elon Law’s Pro Bono Board hosted a November table tennis tournament that raised funds to restock a law school food pantry available as a resource for students.

A friendly suggestion by a faculty member, paired with a desire to restock a law school food pantry, led this month to a table tennis tournament that saw Elon Law students face off against their professors in a battle for bragging rights.

In the process, the Elon Law community raised nearly $400 for the student-run Pro Bono Board to resupply a space inside the library open to any student in need of food.

Chance Bartenfield L’23 (right) and Ian Blackwell L’23 following their ping pong tournament championship match on Nov. 9, 2022. (Photo by Elliott Millner L’23)

The two-day event welcomed two dozen students, faculty and staff members to Elon Law’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Clinic where the law school’s ping pong table resides. Chance Bartenfield L’23 triumphed over Ian Blackwell L’23 on November 9, 2022, to claim the tournament title.

“I grew up playing ping pong with my little brother at my dad’s house,” said Bartenfield, who intends to practice personal injury law after he graduates. “The money raised went to restocking the food pantry, so I felt even better about my interest in the tournament. The experience was super fun and after seeing the competition bracket, I didn’t realize I had so many friends that were good at the game!”

Elon Law Professor Andy Haile suggested to Pro Bono Board leaders that a tournament would be “a great way to have a friendly competition between students and faculty.”

Two dozen students, faculty, and staff members signed up for the ping pong tournament fundraiser hosted by Elon Law’s Pro Bono Board. (Photo by Elliott Millner L’23)

“Professor Tom Molony and I have had a running ping pong competition for the last year or so,” Haile added later. “One of us has never beaten the other and I’m not going to say which! It’s been a fun competition, and I wanted to have that same type of fun with students.”

Samantha Hepler L’23, the Pro Bono Board’s fundraising chair at the time of the tournament, also thanked Professor John Flynn, director of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Clinic, for making the clinic space available.

“It’s important to bridge relationships and have faculty you can depend upon and be unafraid to approach,” said Hepler, who organized last spring’s Pie Your Professor fundraiser. “I hope that our tournament helped create an even better atmosphere for students, both in and outside of the classroom.”