By Jonah Naghi, Special To ClarkAthletics.com
On Sunday, February 9, Making a Difference (MAD) Scholars and the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) hosted a dodgeball tournament fundraiser for Amanda Mundt’s nonprofit educational organization, Opportunities for Communities.
Mundt was a field hockey student-athlete who tragically died in an accident over the summer while in Haiti helping to educate disadvantaged children. Mundt majored in International Development and Social Change and would have graduated from Clark this May.
Thanks to her, many children who may have never had an education got one. For example, during the summer of 2011, she established and ran a summer school for third to sixth graders in Les Cayes, Haiti. To fund her project, she won grants from the David Projects for Peace Foundations and the Restavek Freedom Foundation.
"Restavek" is a term for a Haitian child who is given to another family to work as an indentured servant. Restaveks often experience physical and sexual abuse by their host families, are isolated from society, and are not given many opportunities to go to school. Mundt worked hard to better their lives through her work in Haiti. In fact, last year, she took a leave of absence from Clark to work as an intern for the Boston Office of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.
“We decided that we should gear one of our events towards raising money for the organization that she worked so hard to create and sustain,” said Sarah Testoni, one of the leaders of the event and Mundt's former teammate. She also explained that the reason why it was a dodgeball tournament was because she and Amanda played field hockey together at Clark, so she “thought that incorporating athletics into our event would be appropriate because [Amanda] was also an outstanding athlete and teammate.”
Players and spectators could make donations throughout the event. For each dollar donated, students received wrist bands that read “Noun tout se youn,” which means “We are all one”; that is the motto for the school Mundt developed in Haiti.
As for the tournament itself, the teams came in with a variety of creative names and outfits. Some dodgeball teams were actually Clark sports team, such as women’s soccer, field hockey, and quidditch, while other teams had random, funny names like “Trigger Happy.” In addition to creative names, there were many creative outfits. Some groups wore suits and ties along with sunglasses and bandanas, and there was even one player dressed as the Cougar mascot.
The competition was fierce at times, though always in the spirit of fun. Many times the games ended up with one player facing an entire opposing team, while the eliminated players cheered on their last teammate to pull off a miracle victory.
In the end, The Cougs, a team of lacrosse players, won the tournament. With regard to fundraising, the event turned out to be a big success with over five hundred dollars raised. Sarah Testoni added, “I know Amanda would have been proud to see her campus come together for such a great cause.”
Although Mundt may not have been physically there, her spirit was certainly felt in the Kneller that day, where her fellow students honored a cause that was so dear to her.