Southwest middle schoolers making a difference

Wednesday, May 4, 2022
The Southwest middle school volleyball team poses with representatives from the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri. First Row: Emma Outhouse, Abigail Callison, Paydin Slye, Lilian Corbett, Kylee Rhodes, Olivia Hnem and Addy Payne. Middle Row: Melody Yang, Brianna Hoover, Kaylee Waterman, Manager Luke Delossantos, BreeAhna Paulsen, Rileigh Poole and Gracie Swanepoel. Back Row: Coach Mandy Henry, Shayla Burns, Marissa Freeman, Children’s Center Representative Addie Pendergraft, Children’s Center Representative Rylee Hobbs and Coach Jaime Clay. Contributed photo

Volleyball team raised $637 for Children’s Center

The 2022 middle school volleyball season was full of firsts for Southwest. The biggest undertaking being one of advocacy. 

“Each season, we do ‘Theme Nights’ for home games, and this season, I wanted it to be about more,” said Coach Mandy Henry. “I gave the girls three options to choose from on what they wanted to advocate, and child abuse awareness was one that resonated with them. They told me that this was their choice because it was something they knew affected their own classmates.” 

The coaches, players and managers then set the goal of raising money for the Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri.

“We divided all the home games and our tournament up between everyone to make baked goods so we could sell them each time we had a home game,” Henry said. “The kids (and their parents) did a fantastic job making sure the table was supplied each of those nights.” 

By the end of the month-long season, the team had raised $637.50.

“I thought this was fantastic for our first year doing advocacy, and we hope to grow this event each year,” Henry said. “With the high school team participating in Pink Out each season, I feel that it’s important to get the girls started young on learning to advocate for others. Not only does it raise their awareness on important issues, but we hope that it also raises the awareness in our community.”

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