It all started five years ago when then-Charlton Heights student Jacob Van Buren was diagnosed with a form of Ataxia, which is a group of progressive neurological diseases. At the time, Jacob was a third grader in Mr. Haluska's class. Upon learning about Jacob's condition, the Charlton Heights community came together to offer support to him and his family. That is how the community-wide Chuck & Duck Dodgeball tournament came to fruition.
Although Jacob has since moved to a warmer-climate state because of his condition, the Chuck & Duck Tournament is still in full swing. Afterall, as Mr. Haluska so passionately states: "Once a Spartan, always a Spartan." The Charlton Heights community has not forgot about Jacob. In fact, one year Charlton Heights staff flew Jacob back to the school to watch the annual tournament, which is now in its fifth year. The Chuck & Duck participants this year used skype to include Jacob and his family in the event. Local businesses and families sponsor the event and donations are collected.
This year, Charlton Heights was able to raise $5,617. Of that amount, $2,000 was donated to Jacob to put toward a new motorized-wheelchair. The remainder was donated to the National Ataxia Foundation to use for research and clinical trials.
The sixth annual Chuck & Duck Dodgeball Tournament is scheduled for Friday, April 24, 2015--mark your calendar!