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Dodge, duck and dive for a cause

Allison Reis battles as the last player left standing from her team. (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - Clarkston High School student Angela Harris held onto the purple foam dodgeball and faced off with Clarkston Junior High School Language Arts teacher Sarah Wasilk.

They watched for the other to make a move as the last minute counted down in the championship round at the First Annual Dodgeball Tournament, held by LEAD students on Feb. 9.

When it was over, the Brotherhood, composed of six high school students, and faculty were tied, sending the teams into sudden death. The Brotherhood won with a quick throw.

The day ended Clarkston for a Cure Day during Random Acts of Kindness Week at the high school.

The dodgeball tournament was held to raise money for the Leukemia Foundation.

"It was really fun," said Harris. "It was a good, exciting way to raise money."

"It felt great beating the teachers and Principal (Gary) Kaul," Kaylee Liddle added.

International Baccalaureate student Anthony Allard approached the LEAD Program to help him out with his dodgeball tournament idea.

"I knew I was going to need all the help I could get," he said, adding he heard LEAD also wanted to hold a dodgeball tournament.

The idea was sparked because he attended Clarkston Elementary and the principal Dana Pennanen's son has cancer.

"I wanted to help her out," he said.

Family and friends watched the games for the low price of $1 for admission, and bought pizza, candy and water for $1 each all proceeds going to the cause.

Twelve teams of six competed throughout the night. Next year, they hope to make it bigger.

"It just shows they have great school spirit," Allard said about the response. "It turned out great and way better than I thought it would be. It was a blast."

"Everyone just gathered around for it," Weston Lee, LEAD student, added. "Everyone was in for it and really wanted to do it."

"It was great to see all the kids work together and have fun," said LEAD Program teacher Amy Quayle. "The kids did an awesome job."

The week promoted positive acceptance of all people, held by LEAD and No Place for Hate.

"They coordinated events to promote a positive school environment," said Quayle, adding to help cease school bullying.

It began with Random Acts of Kindness on Monday, Love Yourself Day on Tuesday, Clarkston for a Cure on Wednesday, Mustache Day on Thursday, and Mix it Up Day, Friday.

"We sold beads on Monday," said Megan Leichtnam. "If you saw someone perform a random act of kindness you gave them a necklace. Tuesday was about self beauty and being positive."

The week concluded with meeting new people and students getting out of their comfort zones.

The students raised $1,100 for the Leukemia Foundation and $400 for No Place for Hate, as of Monday.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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