Operation Smile Spikeball Tournament Raises Money and Hope


Daniel O'Keefe

Spikeball participants relax after competing in the tournament.

Daniel O’Keefe, Staff Reporter, Freshman

On October 6, the Operation Smile Club held its first Spikeball Tournament on Ingalls Field. The club, led by seniors Ellianna Bryan, Juliana Cortale, and Grayce Cooper under the guidance of advisor Ms. Quintano, sought to help kids in foreign countries who are unable to afford the surgery or treatment to correct cleft palates or cleft lips. Cleft palate or cleft lip is a common birth condition that causes opening or split in the roof of the mouth and lips.

Bryan said, “The funds that are raised are put towards covering the cleft lip or palate surgeries, necessary medical supplies, Christmas presents, and dental equipment.”

According to the website Costhelper.com, without health insurance, cleft lip and/or palate surgery typically costs $5,000 to $10,000 or more per surgery; if the child has both a cleft lip and a cleft palate, two surgeries typically are required for a total of $10,000 to $20,000.

Over a dozen teams participated in the tournament. Each team had two players, who played through multiple rounds of elimination. Sophomores Charlie Gutch and Daniel Fredbeck took home the victory.

The tournament fostered a sense of camaraderie while also raising awareness for children with cleft palate. The friendly competition enabled students to work together to support a charitable cause, while also teaching teamwork and good sportsmanship through the competitive nature of the event. Although there was no physical prize, participants in the spikeball tournament took home the priceless reward of helping others.

Freshman Luke Green said, “I think the most important part of today’s tournament is to have a fun time and enjoy playing with your peers and competitors.”