This weekend eleven College Open teams are competing in their final regular season tournament of the season. There are hundreds of players across the country doing the same. However, the Hodags are hosting Someday Ultimate for a unique and positive reason that extends beyond a weekend of Ultimate. After last year’s amazing post season run, one of their teammates was dealt a tough hand. Alongside his teammates, he was able to overcome more than most college Ultimate players can dream of to compete for a national championship in the 2012 season. Raising money for the Someday Foundation, the Hodags are doing more than providing a means to play ultimate. Tournament director and D-line player for the Hodags, Dave Wiseman, gives us an insight to the event and why the Hodags are engaged in some truly meaningful work to give back to the community.
Robyn Fennig: Why are the Hodags choosing to host a charity tournament?
Dave Wiseman: In the fall, we were brainstorming what we could do to demonstrate support for one of our current players, Pat Donovan, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a couple weeks after our second place finish at College Nationals. After many good ideas, we decided on hosting a tournament in Madison, WI. Hosting the tournament in Madison also allows for friends, family, and community members to come out and show their support Pat and for a great cause.
Robyn: Why did the Hodags choose Someday, Ultimate?
Dave: Initially, we had planned to give some of the proceeds of the tournament directly to Pat and his family. He humbly denied, and asked where we were planning to donate the tournament proceeds. Then, he told us about the Someday Foundation and the benevolent support that the organization offered to Pat’s family.
Robyn: What is the Someday Foundation? What sorts of work do they do?
Dave: The Someday Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families dealing with critical medical crises. They offer financial support (via grants) to individuals and families to help offset the immense costs of afflictions like cancer. They sponsor sporting events (golf, bowling, ultimate) to share a common interest in supporting a good cause while enjoying a sport that people love.
Robyn: What do you have in store for the tournament? (i.e. What does a team get with their entry fee?)
Dave: Each team will get at least 7 games and the satisfaction of supporting a good cause. There’ll be bananas, bagels, and water. At the end of the day on Saturday, there will be a showcase game at 4pm will host some of the Madison area high school talent alongside a player from each attending team. We have small prizes for players who make plays (layout Ds/other) which should provide for enjoyable spectating.
We’re also hosting a social event on Saturday night at UW-Madison’s Union South. There’ll be some mini games which have delicious prizes (Noodles and Company, Capriotti’s, etc). We’ll be announcing raffle winners and giving out lots of prizes graciously contributed by an array of supporters (Patagonia backpacks, $50 gift card to Gotham Printwear, Madison Area Roller Derby Tickets, Skyd gear, jerseys, discs, etc).
Robyn: How do you think this fits in with some ongoing themes in Ultimate?
Dave: The tournament supports a good cause for a great reason. As an extension of the tournament, the Hodags are hosting a skills clinic for high school students on Wednesday, March 28. You’ll also find a number of the high school students helping out with the tournament on top of their appearance in the showcase game.
We hope the following come out of this whole event:
1. Supporting a good cause
2. Providing high level games to regional (and two SC) teams
3. Improving the level of ultimate in the area
4. Exposing the sport to community members
5. Lots of people have fun
Robyn: What other sorts of outreach do the Hodags do?
Dave: Our main form of outreach would have to be helping the local high school ultimate programs. We were excited to work with youth players in the area during the skills clinic and showcase game.
Robyn: Anything else?
Dave: Pat’s cancer is in remission. He’s has been playing with us the past few weeks and made his first regular season appearance with a few points at Centex. He’s been doing some serious work and is looking to make a big impact as we enter the college series.