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The Answers

A column on education in Watkins Glen

The following was written by Travis Durfee, President of the Watkins Glen Faculty Association. It is the seventh in a continuing series of monthly columns.

Kickball for a Cause

Three years ago a doctor told my wife and I that our newborn daughter might not live.

Our daughter, Isla, had contracted pertussis, also known as whooping cough, a highly contagious disease of the respiratory system that is potentially fatal in people with weak immune systems, namely infants and the elderly. After fits of coughing that turned her face blue, our daughter boarded an ambulance that rushed us to the pediatric intensive care unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. The ensuing hours blurred from the whirlwind of nurses, physicians and specialists.

Once our daughter stabilized we were told to wait. It was all we could do to see if she would pull through. As we entered that limbo, an unassuming someone led us to our room at the Ronald McDonald House. For the next 11 days we never once worried about food, a warm shower or a bed at the end of a long day. The Ronald McDonald House Charities cared for us so we could care for our child.

Isla pulled through, thanks to the capable and compassionate care of the medical professionals at Golisano. We learned a good deal, about diseases and vaccination booster shots (get them!), and also about charity and gratitude (give thanks and give back!).

Our scary story is all too common, but so, too, is the generosity of the good people at the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The charity has supported many members of our union whose families have experienced medical tragedies over the years. The Watkins Glen Faculty Association (WGFA) decided it was time to give back.

On Friday, March 24th, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., please join us at the Watkins Glen Field House for the 1st Annual WG Kickball Classic and Family Fun Night, a fundraiser for the RMHC. The WGFA has organized a faculty vs. faculty kickball game and kid-friendly activities for the whole community.

In addition to the thrill of a highly competitive game of kickball, please drop in for the children’s games and concessions. Bring some extra money for the raffles and the gift basket silent auction. The baskets are intense! The different subject areas and grade levels within the school have crafted baskets filled with summertime goodies, gift certificates from local businesses, a massive diaper cake. There are too many to list. Like our Facebook page ( and look for pictures this week. There will be a book exchange, too, so bring your old reads and trade them for something new.

This has been a truly collaborative effort with our community. We thank our sponsors and donors at Walmart, Ultimate Apparel, Bleachers, The Glen Theater, Famous Brands, Castel Grisch and Reisinger’s Apple Country. We appreciate the support as we give back. See you next week!

Tickets at the door are $3 for kids and $5 for adults. Raffle tickets are sold separately. Silent auction must be paid on site. Concessions for sale. The WGFA will donate all proceeds to the RMHC.

Travis Durfee
Watkins Glen Faculty Association

Photo in text: Travis Durfee.


© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
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