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Swarm Up and Spike Down Cancer: Spike Ball Tournament to Be Held in Honor of Dominic Cappello

Valley Echo BannerAva Mania '24 
8 June 2022

On Saturday, June 18th at 5 p.m., the Superintendent Ambassadors will host a Spike Ball tournament in honor of Dominic Cappello to generate support and raise money as 6-year old “Dom” begins treatment for medulloblastoma. The event will be held on the brand new turf field. Announcers will be commentating, food and refreshments will be available, and music will be playing. The top three winning teams will receive a cash prize. For those interested in enjoying the fun, tickets will be sold for five dollars each.Teams can also register for $20 a person. Invitation is open to the community; all profits go to the Cappello family. Spike Ball Tournament promotional poster

The Superintendent Ambassadors came up with the Spike Ball tournament as a fundraising event. Playing with a partner and embracing competition is something that Dominic, an athlete himself, does daily. “They [Superintendent Ambassadors] thought of a way to tie that [fundraiser] into Dominic’s spirit. I think it’s something that everyone can play too," said Superintendent Dr. Bracken Healy. "Anyone can be involved. That was sort of what motivated this group of students to come up with this idea.” 

The ambassadors have organized spreadsheets and Google Forms, keeping track of the progress and encouraging as much participation as possible. Multiple meetings have been held in preparation for the event. They keep in contact with local venders and families, checking on the numbers weekly, and planning what to offer. 

Members of the community are doing all they can to make this fundraiser successful for the family. Over 30 teams composed of staff and students have registered thus far. Local businesses are eager to participate as well, by either supplying free food, merchandise or making donations. “There has been such an outpouring of support,” said Dr. Healy.

The competition will be the first event held on the turf field post installation. “There’s no better event that I could think of in June, besides our graduation, to be on that field,” said Dr. Healy.

PV has raised thousands of dollars for Dominic; students, staff members, and community members have purchased merchandise, DOMinate wristbands, and made GoFundMe donations to assist the Cappello family in offset surgical costs. “I think it’s important to recognize how generous the staff has been in taking care of Mr. Capello and his family,” said Vice Principal Mrs. Krista Voorhis. “We are a really tight community here in PV. We take care of each other.” 

PV's new turf fieldIn February alone, staff members were able to donate $20 to take part in a week-long dress down; almost everyone participated and a total of $3000 was raised. Many individuals have sent meals to the family, purchased gift cards, and have spent hundreds of dollars in donations. “It’s nice that when someone is down, the community is there to pick them back up. Maybe the most impressive part about this staff is how giving and caring they are for each other in times of need. It has been admirable,” said Dr. Healy. "Mr. Capello is totally blown away by the support of the students, of the staff, of the community and, quite frankly, he’s usually speechless when I call him."

Dr. Healy hopes everyone will come out and support the cause. “We talk about swarming up, that’s what this is. This is coming together as one family. There’s strength in numbers and we really need to be there for Dom right now,” said Dr. Healy.

Superintendent Ambassador Jenna Anevski echoes this, “Mr. Cappello is not only an incredible gym teacher, but is one of the top role models and inspirations at PV. He has touched the lives of many high schoolers and made an impact," she said. "We need the entire Passaic Valley body to come out and support this great charity event."