Dodgeball for a Cause

Personal communications classes fundraise for mental health awareness.


Senior Daniel Won throws a ball.

Gabrielle Francois, Opinion Editor

For the past two years, dodgeball fundraisers have raised awareness for issues faced by the student community. The first dodgeball tournament was to support a student, Karen Barrientos, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer caused by oversized mutated cells crowding out healthy ones in the lymphatic system. This year’s topic is mental health, which some of our own students have struggled with. Dodgeball remains a tradition, raising awareness and money for a new cause each year.

“The schoolwide participation is great,” personal communications teacher Harriet Clark said. “It’s bigger than last year. We have about 550 kids playing dodgeball, and I think last year we had 420.”

Some students in the freshman class admire how this activity was put together in a way where all grades can get involved.

“I think that having all the grades together for one event is cool,” freshman Paige Anderson said. “In middle school, we had things just the eighth graders or seventh graders did, and now everything is combined, which is fun.”

With the increasingly problematic issue of mental health, many students believe that the theme of mental health awareness will benefit the school and change how others start to handle these illnesses.

“I think [dodgeball] brought up a lot of awareness because people don’t realize how much of a problem [mental health] was and how much it affected everyone,” sophomore Kathryn Shelter said.

Last year’s dodgeball tournament was said to be enjoyable for the students who participated and was worth doing again this year. Some even were shooting for another win.

“Our team won last year, and I’m trying to go back-to-back,” sophomore Corey Pischel said. “I think dodgeball is fun, so more people are going to do something that they can have fun with while raising money and spreading awareness.”

Many students enjoyed the exciting atmosphere that they said the tournament provided.

“I like how the activities are going around school,” freshman Adam Trumbauer said. “We get the t-shirts, people are with their friends and I think it will be fun to compete. It’s better than just a raffle or spirit week because we get to root for our classmates.”

Clark recognizes how much effort her classes put into organizing this event and how it was enjoyable to see students work together on one cause.

“I love to see my personal communications kids come together,” Clark said. “It is a tremendous amount of work. I don’t think anyone really knows how much work and time is put into it.”

Administration is also preparing for the tournament and the new changes it will bring to the school’s views on mental health.

“To me, there is nothing more exciting than being in that gym, seeing the entire school together,” Clark said. “It’s time to start talking about mental health.”