Dodgeball tournament brings awareness for cancer event

JON HERNANDEZ/Herald Members of Alpha Xi Delta, left, and Alpha Omicron Pi run towards the center of the gym during ‘Protect Your Balls’. Western students came together on Sept. 12, 2012 in dodge ball teams for the fifth annual ‘Protect Your Balls’ the kick off for relay for life.

Sarah Stukenborg

The Preston Center turned into a war zone Wednesday night as teams fought for victory in a dodgeball tournament hosted by WKU’s Relay For Life committee.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an organization that is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for cancer research.

Lexington senior Erica Sturgill, in charge of team development for WKU’s Relay committee, said the dodgeball tournament “Protect Your Balls” is a fun way to the kick-off Relay.

“This is the event that says ‘Hey, Relay’s on campus this semester,’” Sturgill said.

The main Relay for Life event will be held on Oct. 26 in Smith Stadium.

Sturgill said the event — which is usually in the spring — was moved to fall because of the overlap it had with Greek Week.

“I think we’ll get a bigger turnout and more people willing to participate,” she said of the move.

The tournament brought a crowd of eager players and relay supporters. A DJ blasted music while the dodgeballs were hurled through the air.

There were a total of 15 teams, seven female and eight male.

Louisville sophomore Sean Myers, on the Pi Kappa Alpha team, came as a competitor and a supporter.

“I came out because I like to be involved in my school, and I think it’s a great event,” Myers said.

Many of the participants have had relatives and friends affected by cancer.

Elizabethtown senior Tyler Perkins, also on the Pike team, said his father’s recovery from prostate cancer was a part of why he was there.

“I’m a competitor — I don’t like losing to anyone,” Perkins said. “I’m trying to represent my fraternity and my dad.” 

Lexington junior Courtney Crawford, on Alpha Xi Delta’s team, said she didn’t have any family members affected by cancer, but her sorority sisters do.

“I’m having so much fun, and I wanted to show support for my sisters,” Crawford said. “They didn’t let their family members fight it alone, so I’m not going to let them.”

After much suspense, heart and sweat, the AXiD’s team “Xi Best” and Phi Gamma Delta’s (also known as Fiji) team “Cabell Castle” pulled victories. AXiD won the tournament last year.

Rhode Island sophomore Madison Peercy, a member of “Xi Best” said the team’s victory meant more to her than a regular tournament.

“It feels good to win but feels even better knowing that we did it for a good cause,” Peercy said.