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They had a ball dodging balls, all for a good cause

November 12, 2006|by MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN - Ann Rotz ran to midcourt, grabbed a grapefruit-sized foam ball and backtracked - her eyes sizing up the opposition in a game of dodgeball.

She aimed, pivoted quickly to avert an oncoming attack and fired.

Then, she smiled. She hadn't had this much fun since grade school. And she did it while wearing a formal gown.

Rotz was a member of Always a Bridesmaid, one of seven teams that participated in Saturday's amateur dodgeball tournament, sponsored by Girls Inc. of Washington County.

Decked out in satin and sneakers, the Waynesboro, Pa., resident admitted her team's choice of uniforms was a little unique.

"But whether we win or lose, we'll look good," Rotz said.

Watching the action from the sidelines of the Girls Inc. gymnasium, Executive Director Maureen Grove said this was what she had envisioned for the tournament - "a day where everybody has fun."

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The idea for a dodgeball tournament came about while board members were brainstorming ideas for a fundraiser, Grove said.

"We wanted to try something different," she said. "There are already so many wonderful fundraisers out there. We wanted to do something that would attract a whole different crowd."

Grove said she was pleased with the number of teams participating in the tournament, and hopes next year will bring even more participation.

"We are hoping to make this an annual event," Grove said. "And I think once word gets out about how much fun everyone had, it will just get bigger."

Grove said some of the teams were sponsored by businesses, while others were "friends who wanted to get together for a good cause."

Each team paid a $300 entry fee.

Money raised from the tournament will be used to fund Girls Inc. programs such as Operation SMART and Economic Literacy, Grove said.

"It will be put to very good use," Grove said. "Last year, over 1,053 girls participated in our programs. And the number of girls who come through our doors grows each day. With more children and a larger overhead, we're hoping the money raised today will help us bridge that gap."

Grove said each team participating would receive a shirt, while winning teams received an assortment of prizes, including gift certificates donated by tournament sponsors.

Amy Metz of Hagerstown, a member of the Always a Bride team, said she hadn't played dodgeball since she was in elementary school.

"But I was willing to give it a try because it's for a very good cause," Metz said.

Her team was sponsored by Beauchat & Beauchat LLC in Gettysburg, Pa.

Watching from the bleachers, Tiffany Myers, 11, said she and her mother came to cheer on several friends who were playing in the tournament.

"Maybe, when I'm older, I'll play, too," Tiffany said. "I think it would be fun. I play dodgeball at school. But it's nothing like this."

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