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Paint the School Purple

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The volleyball and water polo programs came together sporting their purple before going out to raise money.

The volleyball and water polo programs came together sporting their purple before going out to raise money.

Photo courtesy of York Volleyball

Photo courtesy of York Volleyball

The volleyball and water polo programs came together sporting their purple before going out to raise money.

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For the past seven years, the boys volleyball program has participated in a joint effort with the charity Relay for Life to support those fighting cancer. Two years ago, the boys water polo team joined this effort, and now both teams have come together to help raise money for the foundation.

In April, the athletes in both sports wore purple and sold candy around the school to raise money for Relay for Life. In addition each team showed their support by attending the other team’s game that week.

“My first three or four years doing this we called it ‘Volley-Bald,’ and the three athletes who raised the most money got to shave a teammates head,” varsity volleyball coach Ken Dowdy said. “We stopped doing it because it happens right before prom. Now, we do ‘Men in Tights’, and the players wear purple tights and walk around selling candy in order to raise money.”

Photo courtesy of York Volleyball
The volleyball and water polo programs came together sporting their purple before going out to raise money.

Whether it is a family member, friend or the students themselves, most members of our school community has been or will be affected by cancer at some point. Relay for Life sponsors over 5,000 events each year to raise money to help those directly affected by cancer.

“I think that it is a great team building exercise,” varsity water polo coach Brian Drumm said. “But most of all, it raises money for a good cause.”

For many of these athletes, to help out in the community is new. These athletes are still in high school so they are not used to making a big difference outside of their sport, but having an opportunity like this to go out and raise money for a good cause and support other students is a great experience from them to see the changes they can make in the world.

“I think that it’s a great way for both the volleyball and water polo teams to come together for a great cause,” varsity water polo athlete Michael McKenna said. “It was a very enjoyable experience, and we were able to raise a lot of money for Relay for Life.”

Together, the programs efforts ended up raising approximately $1000. But this event goes much deeper than fundraising. It gave athletes from two different sports the opportunity to form a bond over raising money for those who are in desperate need of it.

“It was a lot of fun to be able to work with the water polo team because we raised money together and got to cheer each other on,” said varsity volleyball athlete Ryan Schaner. “I find this event to be very important because it brings our communities awareness to cancer fighters and survivors. It also creates this community feeling with us and the water polo team.”

While this event only lasts for one week during the season, it has an effect on these athletes that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. The ‘Paint the Gym/Pool Purple’ event puts the efforts of two spring sports together to have a greater impact on the community than they can achieve on the playing field.

“It teaches the athletes a lot about character, and I look forward to continuing it in the future,” Dowdy said.

Photo courtesy of York Athletics
The varsity volleyball team pumping up the crowd at the water polo game.

The Illinois Athletic Directors Association has named York High School’s Assistant Principal for Athletics, Rob Wagner, as the Class 3A & 4A Division 3 Athletic Director of the Year. Wagner has been at York for 15 years, and he has served in a variety of capacities.

 

Dean, 2002-2005

Athletic Director, 2005-2009

Assistant Principal Student Services, 2009-2011

Assistant Principal Finance and Student Activities, 2011-2014

Assistant Principal for Athletics, 2014- present

 

Story courtesy of Elmhurst District 205

 

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About the Writer
Joey Leonardo, Sports Editor

Joey Leonardo is a junior at York and this will be his second-year as sports editor of York-Hi. Outside of the newspaper, he works at Lou Malnati’s and enjoys partaking in pickup basketball.

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