Volleyball match links the community with the schools
Around mid-October, I was approached by Rhinelander High School (RHS) junior volleyball player Riley Aschenbrenner. Riley asked me to help promote a fundraiser/charity activity that she was planning with fellow junior player, Brianna Gilbert.
The activity was a volleyball match where the RHS team would compete against a team made up of School District of Rhinelander staff, which included mostly Rhinelander High School teachers.
The match was to take place Tuesday, Oct. 29. The plan was to invite community members to the match. Spectators would be charged $1 at the door, with the proceeds going to the Student Council (junior class).
In addition, spectators were asked to bring at least one food item, which would be donated to the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry.
Upon hearing this news, I immediately asked Activities Director Brian Paulson if I could be included on the staff team. It had been a while since I had dusted off the volleyball shoes, but I like a challenge, and I wanted to help contribute to some good causes.
The staff held a one-hour practice at 4 p.m. on the day of the game. This was a good idea, since we had never played together before. The girls had been practicing and playing all season, and our lack of preparation had us worried.
Later that evening, when I arrived at the gym, I felt excitement in the air. I was impressed with the amount of food items that were in the boxes, and I was even more impressed by the smiles on everyone’s faces.
When the game began, the rustiness of the staff team showed right away, and so did the unity of the girls. It was evident that winning the match was going to be an uphill battle. The girls won the first two games, and feeling the pressure, the staff team battled back to win the next two. With game five played up to 15 points, it couldn’t have come down to the wire any more than it did. The two teams were tied at 14-14, when the staff team pulled it together to score the last two points, thereby winning the game, the match and some bragging rights throughout the year.
No matter what the outcome of the match was, this event was about some things that are more important. It was a nice culminating activity for the RHS volleyball team. It involved our community’s youth taking it upon themselves to organize an event that benefited a cause outside of themselves. It helped build some school spirit and it gave the community and the students something positive to do on a Tuesday night.
Most importantly, food items were donated to the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry. This event is a perfect example of how the community and the schools can link together for a positive outcome. I was proud to be part of it and I would like to thank the organizers of the event for including me.
The hope is that this becomes an annual event, with even more spectators involved next year. Kudos go out to Riley, Brianna, and the RHS Volleyball Team for organizing a fun and positive event.