Shockers rock ROTC in AHA dodgeball tourney

Joe Waggoner of the GVEA Shockers prepares to throw the ball during the 2010 annual American Heart Association dodgeball tournament at the UAF Patty Center on Saturday. Photo by Angela Milliron/The Sun Star

By Angela Milliron
Sun Star Contributor

Supporting a good cause feels great. For players in the American Heart Association’s annual dodgeball tournament, supporting a great cause was slightly painful. This year, 20 teams from all over Fairbanks entered Saturday’s double elimination dodgeball tournament ready and willing to feel the pain.

In previous years, the tournament was held at various public schools around the community. This year the event was hosted by UAF’s Athletics and Facility Services departments and held at the Student Recreation Center. It was an opportunity that the SRC’s facility manager, Eric Ofelt, was excited to have. “I think it’s good for an institution like this to give back to a community that supports us. UAF is all about the future and curing heart diseases is about the future too,” he said.

Dodgeball is a fast-paced game of quick reaction. The objective is for each team to eliminate all members of the opposing team by hitting them with balls, catching the balls they throw, or forcing them to move outside the court boundaries when a ball is thrown at them.

Teams were encouraged to get creative with names and costumes. Plaques were awarded to Fort Wainwright’s “Draft Dodgers” for best team name; to the Fairbanks Fire Department’s team “Fairly Awkward”, for best outfits (and for having the courage to come dressed as fairies); and to Kaitlynn McKirgan of the “Beastie Ballers” for Most Valuable Player.

After countless elimination rounds and over three hours of tough competition it all came down to two teams, the Golden Valley Electric Association “Shockers” and the ROTC team. ROTC was down one game before beating the Shockers which led to a final match between the two teams.

Ultimately, the Shockers defeated ROTC, claiming first place for the grand prize of $1,000 donated in their name to the AHA as well as a first place commemorative plaque. ROTC took second place and won a $750 donation and “The Wrecking Crew” picked up third and a $500 contribution for the AHA.

All $2,200 in proceeds will be applied to the annual Heart Walk fundraiser in May. Groups register online, raise money and then donate it to the AHA before heading downtown to take part in the community-wide walk.

Efforts put towards the event were all done in consideration of the AHA. “No one working the event, staff or otherwise, were paid to do this,” said Ofelt. “It’s a good smattering of people ready to help.”

Companies supporting the effort included GVEA, Play It Again Sports, the Fairbanks Fire Department, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Odom Company and many more.

Ofelt said he looks forward to next year’s fundraiser and hopes he will have the opportunity to continue the annual event at the Patty Center. “As part of the Athletics Department I think it is really important for us to promote these types of events as well as healthy living and healthy lifestyles.”

To learn more about the American Heart Association or the 2010 Fairbanks Heart Walk, go to www.americanheart.org.

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1 Response

  1. April 20, 2010

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