“Diabetes. Dodge It.” That’s the tagline for the annual Better Health Dodgeball Tournament scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 24. It takes place at Freedom Courts Sportsplex, which is located at 3126 Gillespie St. According to Amy Navejas, executive director of Better Health, this unique fundraiser began because Better Health “wanted to come up with a fundraiser that was new and different for our area, but still highlighted our emphasis on moving and being healthy. After tossing around several ideas (Better Health) settled on the idea of bringing dodgeball to Cumberland County. It’s an incredibly fun, lively and competitive event that brings the community together.”
The fundraising goal for the 2019 tournament is $20,000. “Last year we were close,” said Navejas, “so we know that, with the community’s support, we can do it this year. This is a crucial fundraiser for Better Health programs. It allows us to continue to offer emergency medications and dental care to the uninsured, diabetes and nutrition education, (the) childhood obesity program and more.”
Tournament teams are organized and fielded by various businesses, local gyms, professional organizations and personnel from some municipal departments like the Fayetteville Police Department. “This is a great team-building event,” Navejas said. “A lot of organizations do this as an opportunity for staff to come together, have fun and be active at the same time. We want people to see that there are tons of ways to work physical activity into your routine. It doesn’t have to be just sit-ups and push-ups, which can be daunting.”
Founded as a non-profit in 1958 with the mission to provide for the unmet healthcare needs in Cumberland County through assistance, referral and education, Better Health has been providing life-sustaining medications, dental care, diabetes education and medical equipment for over 60 years. Additionally, Better Health offers diabetes management clinics, cooking demonstrations and screening, a childhood obesity program — which teaches an estimated 1,200 children about healthy lifestyle choices — vision care for the uninsured, medical supplies and medical equipment loans.
In addition to the tournament, Better Health programs rely on the United Way and other local charitable foundations and trusts for funding, support from local churches and donations from the community at large. Many of the Better Health programs are staffed by health professionals who volunteer their time. Better Health also relies on donations of good used medical equipment such as wheelchairs. These donations are the sole source for its medical equipment loan program.
“We encourage everyone to come out (for) Dodgeball … on Aug. 24,” said Navejas. “You won’t be disappointed. The closer we get to that final round, the more intense it gets. Let’s dodge, duck, dip and donate.”
General admission to the tournament is $5 at the door. To find out more about registering a team, visit www.betterhealthcc.org.
The Better Health "Diabetes. Dodge It." tournament is set for Aug. 24.