Ten Catholic Youth Ministry volleyball teams gathered at St. Mark’s High School on Sept. 15 for a day of competition that was also a show of solidarity in the fight against pediatric stroke, which has affected a member of the local volleyball community.
Organized by Christ the Teacher’s volleyball program, the tournament is in its ninth year. This year, it became part of the “Dig Purple” campaign for pediatric stroke awareness. That hit home this year because it happened to Makenna Ruth Prichard, the infant daughter of Dave and Ellen Prichard. Dave Prichard is club director for Premier Volleyball of Delaware.
According to tournament organizer Trina Leclerc, Makenna was taken to A.I. duPont Hospital on Aug. 29, when she was just six days old, for seizure-like activity. There, her parents learned she had suffered a stroke, which happens in approximately one of every 4,000 live births.
“Makenna is fortunate that Dave and Ellen reacted to the subtle signs and took quick action,” Leclerc said.
The tournament consisted of two pools of five teams each playing a round-robin format. The top two teams from each pool advanced to the playoffs, and the winners moved on to the final. St. Mary Magdalen No. 1 took the crown with a win over Christ the Teacher No. 1.
The other teams that participated came from Mount Aviat Academy, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Mary of the Assumption, St. John the Beloved and All Saints.
Purple bracelets were sold at the tournament to support Dig Purple. Between those sales and donations, $265 was raised to help the Prichards and other families affected by pediatric stroke.
Leclerc said other local colleges and high schools are helping out with Dig Purple. Wilmington University is holding a Dig Purple match tonight against local rival Goldey-Beacom, and Wesley College will do so on Oct. 11 against Delaware Valley. Archmere’s also will be tonight against St. Mark’s, and Padua is finalizing plans for a Dig Purple match in October.