Dodgeball tourney to raise dollars for disaster relief

By From page A5 | October 11, 2017

Disaster relief, fun costumes and the opportunity to watch Oak Ridge High School students get barraged by a volley of rubber balls — all of this arranged by teacher Steve Seely and his classes to aid in disaster relief efforts for hurricane victims.

Dodgeball for Disasters will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the ORHS gym. Admissions and raffle tickets are $5 and if you are looking to sponsor a team for this event, there’s a $120 team donation fee.

“The hurricanes in the gulf are unprecedented. We’ve never had three disastrous hurricanes come through in the same year and there’s so much suffering in that region — from Puerto Rico to Houston to the Virgin Islands to the gulf,” Seely said. “It’s a lot of pain and I teach courses like government and service learning and I’m trying to get kids out and trying to do something about that.

“I’m always looking for practical ways to engage kids in civic action and service so they can make a difference in their world,” he continued. “This seemed like a really good opportunity to join two objectives. One is to put kids in a place where they can have some fun and, two, a place where they can make a difference.”

Seely said it’s a struggle to come up with a  “cool” fundraising idea. He got the idea from a past event. “A number of years ago I had four girls take on a dodgeball tournament locally and they did really well,” he recalled.

Community members can do their part by sponsoring a team or just coming to enjoy the event. “It’s a time of divisiveness and it’s events like these that bring us together to do good,” Seely explained, “and it’s an opportunity for the better angels of our nature to rise to make a difference.”

There will be three awards in this competition — ball throwing excellence, best team costumes, most funds raised — and a raffle for an iWatch.

Jacob Bassett

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