By Michael Shen
“Twenty-one to twenty. Two minutes, two points, one game. The competitive fire is blazing inside me. I know this game is for a great cause, and we will triumph in victory. One minute. It’s tied. Boom! Ace. We’re up twenty-two, twenty-one. Ten, nine, eight. They return our serve. I set it for my teammate and he puts it over the net. Seven, six, five. They’re trying to keep control over the erratic ball, setting it from one player to the next. Four. Three. Two. They put it back on our side. I soar across the floor, diving to keep the ball from reaching the ground. One. The ball is in the air. We bump it over. Bang! It smacks the floor and we win another point. Twenty-three to twenty-two. Game over,” narrated junior Jay Kim. On Nov. 13 and 14, South’s Girls’ Varsity Club (GVC) hosted the 17th annual Charity Volleyball Contest to help children living with multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system in which a person’s own body attacks the tissue surrounding nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The effects of MS include but are not limited to a loss of motor control, vision, balance, and sensation. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that between 8,000 and 10,000 children have MS in the United States. Despite medication to help combat the symptoms of MS, as of today, there is no known cure for the often-unpredictable disease.
Coach Tara Casey started the tradition of raising money for MS 17 years ago when she brought the idea to South. Originally, the fundraiser took the form of a ping-pong tournament; however, with a growing number of participants, the charity sport was changed to volleyball.
The GVC hosted the fundraiser for all students by creating a volleyball tournament to raise money for the cause. This year, up to six members made up each of the thirty-six teams. Filled with a competitive yet fun atmosphere, the east gym roared with laughter and good spirits. Kim said, “This event is for a great cause and really involves students in charity work. I am really thrilled that I was able to participate and show my support toward multiple sclerosis [patients].”
This year, 186 students and teachers attended the event and raised almost $2,000. The GVC plans on donating the profit to the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook University.
Science teacher Mr. Andrew Tuomey, freshman Nelson Bae, sophomore Melanie Lam, and sophomore Hyerin Yoon finished in first place.
In addition to hosting the volleyball tournament, the GVC also held a contest for the best team costumes and a rock-paper-scissor mini tournament. Senior Felicia Kane, senior Alex Cowen, sophomore Jack Sherman, sophomore Annabelle Golden, sophomore Kim Mishra, and sophomore Mia Oginski, making up the “PJs” team, won the team costume contest. Senior Austin Son was crowned the rock-paper-scissors champion.
Coach Nesdill, adviser of GVC, described the atmosphere in the gym as “electrifying” and “energetic.” “We just wanted to help raise money and awareness for a good cause.”