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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 19, 2009

Fun raises funds
Dodge ball tourney will support local food pantries

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — It’s not your father’s dodge ball.

A tournament to benefit local food pantries will be held at Guilderland High School on March 6.

“Dodge ball has changed,” said tournament organizer Michael Shaffer, a physical education teacher at Lynnwood Elementary School. “When I was a kid, we lined up against a wall, and those red rubber balls really hurt.”

Now, the balls that players must dodge are foam. “The air comes out when you get hit,” said Shaffer.

But a flier advertising the tournament depicts a fallen player, sprawled out flat on the gym floor, surrounded by balls. And, said Shaffer, “Phys. ed. teachers have filmed a funny commercial,” which will be posted on the school district’s website — www.guilderlandschools.org.

Fourteen teams — each made up of four high school boys, four high school girls, and two staff members — will compete in the March 6 tournament.

The players will race to grab balls and throw them at the opposing team. “If you get hit, you sit out,” said Shaffer. “If someone catches a ball, the player who threw the ball is out...The last team with someone standing wins.”

Each team paid $50 to enter. “So, even if no one bought tickets, we’d still have made $700 for the food pantries,” said Shaffer.

Tickets for spectators cost $3 per person and $10 for a family.

Collett Mechanical and Capital Bauer Insurance Company are paying for T-shirts for the winning team, which are being made by Screen Designs at reduced cost.

The school district’s cabinet for physical education came up with the idea for Guilderland’s first-ever dodge ball tournament, said Shaffer. “We wanted to do something for the community,” he said. “We got the idea from Shenendehowa. They’ve been doing this for years, donating the money to help with things like the tsunami or Katrina.”

The funds raised at the Guilderland tournament will help out closer to home. “Every penny will go to the Altamont and Guilderland food pantries,” said Shaffer. With tough times, he pointed out, more people are using the pantries.


The dodge ball tournament will take place at the new gym at Guilderland High School on School Road in Guilderland Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on March 6. Tickets are $3 per person and $10 for a family.

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