William Fox Elementary, located in downtown Richmond City, was engulfed in flames on Friday, Feb. 11. This resulted in the disruption of over 300 students’ education and day-to-day lives.
Many students watched their school burn down or heard about it on the news the next morning. The school has been receiving donations from the community, alumni, and many different organizations.
The Principles of Leadership class at Godwin, which helps plan many events for the school, decided that they wanted to contribute to the fundraising efforts.
In previous years, they have held a dodgeball tournament in order to raise money for a charity of their choice. In 2019, they raised money for Celebrate RVA, which gives underprivileged children the chance to celebrate and enjoy their birthday in a safe and fun environment, through donations from the dodgeball tournament.
This year, the tournament took place on Saturday, March 19 starting around six p.m. The leadership class decided that they would host the dodgeball tournament again this school year. When discussing who would receive the money raised, the fire at Fox was fresh on everyone’s minds.
“It was a unanimous decision from the leadership class to donate the money, they saw a need and [decided that] this is where the money is going to go,” said Rebecca Martino, Godwin history teacher and leadership sponsor.
Posters advertising the tournament and displaying a bracket could be seen around the school prior to the event.
In order to participate in the dodgeball tournament, it was required to have a team of five students alongside a teacher or coach as a sponsor for the team.
Many athletes represented their school sports team at the dodgeball tournament. Some but not all sports represented include baseball, boys volleyball, football, girls soccer, as well as track and field.
Each participant was asked to pay an entry fee of 10 dollars. This year a total of 20 teams registered, resulting in a guaranteed donation of 1,000 dollars.
Spectators were allowed in for free and were given the opportunity to donate during the event.
Each team played a minimum of two games. If they won, they advanced on the bracket. Once a team lost their second game, they were disqualified from the tournament and could not play another game.
The stands were filled with students and parents cheering on the teams. Some spectators even brought signs to show their support for a team of their choice.
Meyer Kaplan, Godwin Junior and member of the winning team said, “It was an awesome opportunity to get together with a group of friends to play dodgeball while contributing to a good cause.”
At the conclusion of the night, the fundraiser had raised upwards of 2,000 dollars. However, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of running the fundraiser comes out of the money raised.
This includes paying custodial staff that worked the event, the snacks and drinks provided for the teams, any costs associated with the decorations and marketing for the event, as well as any additional fees.
Overall, the event was successful. The leadership class is optimistic that the money donated from the fundraiser will help Fox elementary school recover from the monetary losses of the fire.
The tournament showed what Godwin is able to accomplish when students and faculty come together to perform an act of service.
“I would like to give a huge shout out to Godwins teams and clubs for coming out to have a good time and support a great cause,” said Martino.