To help a Dublin City School District student in her quest to walk, several teams will vie for the chance to be dodgeball tournament champs.
The seventh annual Dublin City Schools Dodgeball Championships are slated for April 4 at Scioto High School, with Riverside Elementary student Emma Dickman and Dublin Special Olympics set to benefit from the proceeds.
"It was an awesome surprise," said Amanda Dickman, Emma's mother and a Karrer Middle School teacher.
"We are always overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our community," Amanda Dickman said. "Steve and I both consider Dublin City Schools and the community as part of our family."
Emma, also the daughter of Jerome High School Intervention Specialist Steve Dickman, was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy as an infant and has spent much of her life in a wheelchair.
Last year, Emma began her quest to walk by receiving special surgery in St. Louis during the summer.
"Emma's surgery went very well," Amanda Dickman said.
"She had a follow-up appointment in November with her surgeon and he was very pleased with her progress.
"With continued intensive therapy, he feels that she can reach her goal of walking independently," she said.
Therapy has been a major expense for the family, but previous fundraisers and the upcoming dodgeball tournament will help.
"Therapy has been going very well," Dickman said said, noting Emma goes three times a week.
"During therapy sessions Emma strengthens muscles that she is just now learning to use," she said.
"She works on coordination, balance and confidence. She greets every day with a smile and determination that we are so very proud of.
"Emma took her first steps at the end of January," Dickman said. "It may have been only three steps, but they put her that much closer to her dream of walking."
Proceeds from the dodgeball championships will also benefit Dublin Special Olympics for a second year.
The program was started in 2012 to give athletes with developmental disabilities a team closer to home.
Some funds from the April 4 event will also go to the Memorial Scholarship Funds of Lyndsey Rice and Kyle Colello, two Dublin Scioto High School students killed a car crash in 2009.
Since its inception, the Dublin City Schools Dodgeball Championship has raised more than $64,000 for local groups.
The dodgeball championship will accept one team of students from each elementary school and two student teams from each middle school. Four girls teams and four boys teams will be accepted from each high school.
Teacher and Dublin City School staff teams are also allowed to enter.
Registration for each team is $25.
Teams must have between six and 10 players, with six players allowed on the court at one time.
Teams will play in a single elimination competition in the following divisions: elementary, middle school, high school girls, high school boys and adults.
The winning teams will keep the Dublin City Schools Dodgeball Championship trophy at their schools for a year.
Teams must register by March 21 and can do so by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dublin Business Academy is selling 2014 dodgeball tournament T-shirts for $10. The group is donating $4 from the sale of each T-shirt to fundraising proceeds.
Orders for the shirts must be submitted by March 21. Order forms are available online at dublinschools.net/dodgeball.aspx.
The public can attend the tournament for a $5 admission fee.