Friday, May 4, 2018

Dodgeball Tournament was more than a fundraiser by Matt Pascarella

Crusher with Kaden Trefethen
Be The Influence (BTI) Coalition, in collaboration with the Windham PTA, held a “Stay in the Game” dodgeball tournament on Saturday, April 28 at Windham High School’s gymnasium featuring Crusher, the mascot from the Maine Red Claws as one of the participants. It was a fun day of bonding between students, parents, friends and teachers; after all - it’s not every day you get to compete against a giant lobster. 

The intention of Saturday’s dodgeball activity was to stress the importance of youth engagement, particularly for kids who don’t participate in traditional sports after school. The second aim was to support the BTI mission. The BTI website states, “[Our mission is] to promote community collaboration and positive choices in reducing youth substance use.” This was the first in a community wide activity that would relate to all skill levels and ages while promoting the BTI mission.

While this was a fundraiser, BTI Director, Laura Morris explained that the focus on this first-year event could potentially become an annual occasion, with less worry about how much money is raised. “The primary focus of this event was about building community with less concern about raising funds,” Morris reiterated. has initiated many activities in all middle and high schools in the RSU #14 district and are training high schoolers to teach younger grades about the risks of vaping and marijuana use including an emphasis on lesser known substances. Activities include a variety of ways to teach about the use and misuse of drugs and alcohol such as, older students performing skits about drug-free themes to younger students. “This is only the beginning,” Morris said. “We have a lot more ahead of us to do.”

Be The Influence would like to thank the following sponsors of the tournament: Maine Sherriff’s Association, Mechanic Savings Bank, State Farm Agent Tricia Zwirner, Dan Co., Amato’s, Bob the Screenprinter, Maine Red Claws Basketball and the Windham PTA.

If you are interested in getting involved with Be The Influence, visit their website at or contact Laura Morris at

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