The Paradise High School volleyball team had been through a lot. Some of the Paradise Adventist Academy players lost all of their belongings in the wildfires sweeping across parts of California.
Devastating Fires Affect Community
The entire town was burnt down within a day. It gave little chance for anyone to salvage much of their belongings. In fact, most of the team members didn’t even have their shoes when they had to leave their homes.
When the Paradise High School volleyball team traveled 80 miles and arrived at Auburn, they didn’t expect the kind of welcome they would receive. In fact, the Forest Lake Christian High School team was prepared for the unique welcome even before the opposing team arrived. The team collected over $16,000 in donations within just 24 hours. After the match, all fire victims were invited to the dinner which was prepared by the team members’ families.
True Sportsmanship and a Job Well Done
The essence of sportsmanship is to make this world a better place. Whatever sports it may be; it is meant to make everyone feel great – from the players to the fans to the general community. And that is exactly what happened when the Forest Lake Christian High School, Auburn presented its opponent volleyball team Paradise Adventist Academy with new uniforms, equipment, and gift cards. The Paradise team was among the victims of the major Camp Fire in the town that had caused massive destruction a few days ago.
Paradise Adventists’ Community Acts of Kindness
The Forest Lake school hosted the Paradise Adventist’s girls’ volleyball team for a match. When the Paradise team arrived for the Northern California Division VI semifinal match on November 10, they were surprised by the kind of greeting they received. Every player was given new uniform along with lots of supplies for families. In fact, the opponent team’s school raised over $16,000 for the entire community affected by the wild fires.
The Forest Lake team went even further and served dinner for the fire victims. Besides, the Paradise Adventist coach was given gift cards worth $300 for each player. The team also requested the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to turn the entrance fee into donations for the fire victims, which the federation agreed to. The school administrators also set up bins to receive donations, which were overflowing by just the next day.
Paradise High School Volleyball Team Arriving without Uniforms
Imagine a high school volleyball team presenting itself for a semi-final match without their proper uniform. It wasn’t, however, a surprise when the Paradise Adventist girls’ team arrived at Auburn. Everyone understood the situation as the small town of Paradise had been almost completely devastated by the wildfires a week ago. However, this didn’t affect the girls’ determination. They appeared to play the semifinal match without their gear. All their clothes and equipment were destroyed in the fire as they had to be evacuated quickly. In fact, they set their own example of true sportsmanship of not backing down in the face of such great odds. Not to forget how the incidence affected their training.
Wild Fires Sweeping across California
The Camp Fire last week has proven to become the deadliest wildfire in the history of the state. It is even bigger than the Griffith Park Fire of 1933. Besides, it is also the most destructive fire so far, having destroyed more than 9,700 structures. The cause has not yet been established even though it has devastated more than 146,000 acres of area. The years of drought spell followed by the bark beetle infestations have left tens of millions of dead trees in the set, having created just the perfect condition for wildfires.
The wildfire has been named after Camp Creek Road, the place where it began. All the 26000 Paradise residents have been affected. Besides, the Camp Fire has also forced evacuation of over 52,000 residents of Butte County. More than a 1,000 people are missing. According to reports, the residents only had minutes to flee, thus forcing most of them to leave their properties within nothing more than the clothes they had on.
Making it to the Semifinal Game
It is a big deal for any high school volleyball team to make it to the state semifinals. After the wildfires, a survey found that all the players and their families were eager to go to the semifinals game despite having lost everything. The team members exclaimed that the match added “something normal” to their lives and helped in bringing the community closer. The only obstacle the players had was the lack of proper volleyball jerseys and equipment. They planned to play in their T-shirts by writing their jersey numbers on them. But that was not to be the case since the opponent team had something else in mind.
This gesture by Forest Lake Christian High School went a long ways for the Paradise community. It wasn’t, however, all the supplies and donations that were the big thing. The kind of love and care showered on the Paradise Adventist team by the school and its community shined the brightest.