By Matt Werner/Times Sentinel reporter
Reposted from Zionsville Times Sentinel
February 22, 2012
— As thousands of high school and college students across the country head to warmer climates for spring break to relax and unwind, one group of students from Zionsville Community High School is also heading someplace warmer. However, their goal is to provide fun for others.
A group of 11 students and two faculty members will make a trip to Haiti to put on soccer clinics and build a soccer club.
The idea came from sophomore Madi Mann, who made a trip to Haiti while she was in eighth grade.
“I went down in eighth grade to do a soccer camp,” she said. “It wasn’t a ton of fun since I was in a cast, and I’ve always wanted to go back.”
The group is partnering with Nehemiah Vision Ministries, which serves 450 orphans with a school, hospital, dental clinic and dorms.
According to David Poindexter, co-director of (I’m In) CoachingBest, who is organizing the trip, the group will also have a medical team from Seymour that will travel with them.
“We’re just there to serve,” he said. “There’s still half a million people there living under tarps. We want to serve, but we also want to build into them leadership skills.”
People in the group did not hesitate to use their spring break to make the trip.
“I felt like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Isabelle Dagher said. “We are going to have spring breaks in the future. Why not do (this) now when we have other people planning it for us, and we have open spring breaks.”
Julia Kowala said she was going because it is an opportunity to make a difference in a different part of the world.
Kelly Antcliff, athletic director at Zionsville Middle School and Zionsville West Middle School, will be one of two staff members going on the trip.
“I went to New Orleans last year on spring break to do a similar project,” she said. “I wanted an equally rewarding opportunity on this spring break, and this sounded like a great opportunity.”
The thought of traveling to a different country did not scare anyone in the group, but a few are worried about one thing.
“I just don’t want to get sick,” Kowala said. “I’m not nervous about anything else. I want to help people, but I just don’t want to get sick. I never thought about safety much.”
The group is excited about going to a different country and the opportunities that brings.
“It’s something we’ll be able to share with all of our friends,” Ginna Royalty said. “I have an aunt who is going there in a few months, and it’ll be cool sharing my experiences with her.”
The ZCHS team will be leading soccer camps, rebuilding a soccer field, installing a water purification system and teaching in the school.
“We are there to help the kids,” Mann said. “We want to give the kids some sort of hope.”
Poindexter said they will also be shipping down eight soccer goals after their trip.
“We are starting a program that we are leaving something substantial behind,” he said. “We will be able to set up another club. When you set up a set of (soccer) goals in an area like this, that becomes the town center.”
The group will receive a community commission during a ceremony from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 26.
The community commissioning ceremony will be held at Plum’s Upper Room, 112 S. Main St. The team will be commissioned by the athletic teams, the school, the community and the country.
Chris Malott and Ben Glenn, the world renowned Chalk Guy, will be guest speakers. All are invited to attend. The ceremony is similar to how each military ship in the United States are commissioned before setting sail.
Poindexter said the group is raising money to help cover their costs and the cost of the water purification system. Contact David Poindexter at 506-3114 or email@example.com to make a donation for the trip or for more information about the ceremony.
Students and staff from Zionsville Community Schools will spend their spring break in Haiti providing a special service. Two staff members and 11 students will be making the trip. Volunteers include: (front left) Kristen Duffey, Julia Kowala, Ginna Royalty, Lizzy Follstad; (back left) Emily Follstad, Claire Poindexter, Anne Poindexter, Isabelle Dagher, Madi Mann and ZCHS football coach Larry McWhorter. Not pictured are Kelly Antcliff, athletic director at Zionsville Middle School and Zionsville West Middle School; David Poindexter, co-director of (I’m In) CoachingBest; students Carson Kennedy and Lauren Judd.