The dodgeballs will be flying fierce and fast at on March 2 but it’s not going to be just another day of gym class for the kids. It’s a charity dodgeball tournament organized by High School student Justin Jones to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
“Its a great cause,” said Jones who is a junior at the school. "I have a personal connection to someone with diabetes and that is my sister. I also have some friends in the high school who also have diabetes.”
With the help of three of his friends and Bonnie Fuchs, who Jones said came up with the idea to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the group originally came up with the idea for a dance but that idea was kiboshed by school principal Roseann Cirnigliaro.
“We have had problems with dances at our school in the past so the principal came up with the idea of a dodgeball tournament instead,” said Jones.
Earlier in the year the school had a tournament scheduled but it was cancelled when the Royals soccer team went to the state championships, according to Jones. So dodgeball it was.
According to its website, JDRF supports research to “discover, develop and deliver advances that cure, better treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.” With type 1 diabetes a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that breaks down sugar and starch in food into glucose, which cells use to produce energy.
So far, Jones and his friends have raised $5,500 by sending out fundraising letters to people in the community but they’re looking to raise more. They set up a webpage to make online donations.
The dodgeball tournament will be held in the Port Jefferson High School gymnasium on Friday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m.