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    A Dodgeball Tournament Giving Hope (and Fun!)

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    By Katie Landgrebe - Northwestern Women's Soccer

    Katie Landgrebe is a sophomore on the Northwestern women's soccer team and the journalism major will give fans an inside look into the program with her blogs. The Northwestern women's soccer team is constantly giving back to the community and Katie's second entry details a great service event put on by the seniors from the 2012 women's soccer team.

    PHOTOS: 2013 Charity Dodgeball Tournament

    Colorful outfits, the sound of competition-crazed players, and balls whizzing through the air could only mean one thing: a dodgeball tournament, and more importantly, one put on by the women's soccer team. On a hot May day, more than 100 people packed into Patten Gym to participate in a tournament organized, run and inspired by our senior class. I can't begin to say how much Jess Rubin, Meredith Finsand and Bri Westlund have meant to me as teammates in the past two years, but in the past few weeks I've seen another, even better side of them. 
    They built this tournament from the ground up, and put a great cause at the center of it. The Lurie Children's Hospital is a place near and dear to NU women's soccer because of the incredible care they have given to our friend Hallie Munro, so it was only natural that the proceeds of this tournament would benefit their organization. With each team paying an entrance fee and many local businesses donating food for players, our seniors, and team, were able to raise $3,000 for a place that we know does good work for children with unimaginable circumstances; and all while having a great time!
    Observing the three dodgeball courts that lined Patten Gym was truly a sight to see, and many of us stuck around to watch and enjoy the fun atmosphere long after our refereeing shifts ended. Teams, many of which consisted of other NU student-athletes, sprinted to lines, performed trick plays and generally made the most of the chance to participate in a game outside of our normal practice schedules. Working alongside the seniors that had made all of this happen was an honor, and I couldn't help but smile at the thought of that money going to a place where daily, kids can have hope of a second chance because of the world-class care they receive.
    Something else that stuck with me was from an email Coach Moynihan sent to our team after some of us volunteered at Nettelhorst Elementary playing soccer and telling students about our experience as NU student-athletes. He pointed out that we were showing kids another avenue, one where you can excel at a sport and also love to do creative writing or use a talent you have to achieve something else, like being the first in your family to attend college. In a way, we were doing the same with the dodgeball tournament. Showing outsiders and ourselves that college athletes aren't just performers on the field and in the classroom, but also conscientious members of the community. In a packed gym filled with the sounds of our friends simply having a good time, our team, with the help of our senior class, learned that fun and service can collide in incredible ways.
    Coach Neely captured some great moments from the dodgeball tournament so make sure you check out the photo gallery. A big thanks to everyone who participated and helped to make the day memorable!

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