Members of the Ithaca College women’s basketball team ditched their jerseys and basketballs for T-shirts and dodgeballs to raise money for their trip to Los Angeles.
Every few years, the team goes on a trip to travel and play basketball over the Thanksgiving break. For next Thanksgiving’s trip, the team hosted a dodgeball tournament Dec. 4 in the Athletics and Events Center.
Participants played with a team of six to eight people, and it cost $30 per team for students and $50 per team for faculty.
This is the first time the team hosted a dodgeball tournament. When they were raising money for their Puerto Rico trip in 2015, the team hosted a 3–3 basketball tournament, but junior guard Allison Spaschak said assistant coach Devin Shea thought more people would come out if it was a dodgeball tournament.
For the past two months, the team has been busy planning. Each class was given a different job. Junior Jordan Beers said the junior class designated jobs to everyone and made sure that everything ran smoothly.
“I always just looked at them and said, ‘What do you want me to do,’ and then we would divvy up work for our whole team and go out to businesses and ask if we could get anything, any help from them,” Beers said.
Three local business — Dolce Delight, Italian Carry Out and The State Diner — donated gift cards, which the team raffled off at the end of the tournament. Each participant was given one free raffle ticket, and then they could buy more tickets for $1 each. During the week leading up to the tournament, the team also sold the raffle tickets in IC Square.
Spaschak said the businesses were willing to help the team and make donations.
“The local Ithaca community is really, really good about supporting Ithaca College and Cornell events,” Spaschak said. “I’ve done other things in the past, and they are always very, very supportive and very willing to help us out, which is awesome.”
Beers said that when it came to fundraising, the team wasn’t sure how successful it would be. The goal for next two years is to double and triple the amounts of money raised at the tournament.
“We don’t really have a set goal because this is the first time we’ve been running a dodgeball tournament,” Beers said. “We just wanted to see what we could get and then try to build on that next year.”
Most of the tournaments participants were athletes, including members of the football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s lacrosse teams.
Men’s basketball junior guard Brendan Till said the team decided to come out to have fun competing against other athletes and to support the women’s team. The men signed up for the tournament last–minute and decided on the name “what” for their team.
“As a member of the men’s basketball team, we feel obligated to support the women’s team as the other team in our sport and also as friends,” Till said. “We look forward to having fun and contributing to their foundation.”
With the success of the fundraiser and how much the participants enjoyed the competition, Spaschak said the team is hoping to make this an annual event.
“Everybody loves dodgeball,” Spaschak said. “A lot of people — if they know about it — they get to come and have fun. They’ll want to come again, and they’ll bring more friends. I think it really has potential to grow as a great fundraiser for our program.”