Duck, dip, dive: Trio provides the driving force behind successful fundraiser

March 2016 Posted in Community, Sports
Hayley Miller, Erica Rumpca and Mindy Duerst have organized the Silverton Dodgeball Tournament since its beginning seven years ago.

Hayley Miller, Erica Rumpca and Mindy Duerst have organized the Silverton Dodgeball Tournament since its beginning seven years ago.

By Kristine Thomas

Between bursts of laughter, Mindy Duerst, Erica Rumpca and Hayley Miller readily admit they cannot accurately or fiercely throw a dodgeball.

Yet that hasn’t prevented them from organzing the Silverton Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Donate Dodgeball Tournament.

While their skills may be lacking on the court – again by their own admission –that certainly isn’t the case when it comes to organizing a successful fundraiser for Silverton High School’s Project Graduation, the all-night celebration for seniors.

Always Our Children
Saturday, April 2, 9 a.m.
Silverton High School
1456 Pine St.

Admission is $5 or $4 with a
canned food donation for SACA.

Volunteers are needed Friday
night to set-up and Saturday
evening to clean-up.

Call Hayley Miller,
503-871-2041, or visit
to volunteer.

Eager to find a way to raise money for their oldest children’s celebration in 2010, Mindy and Erica knew they didn’t want to continue doing several small fundraisers that “nickel and dimed” the community. Once they had the idea of a dodgeball tournament, they had five weeks to plan it, netting 27 teams and $5,000.

Now, they start in January and work until April, netting about $18,000 and hosting 64 teams. The graduation celebration costs about $22,000.

The seventh annual Silverton Dodgeball Tournament is Saturday, April 2 at Silverton High.

What’s amazing about the three women’s dedication is none of them have a high school senior this year. Yet, they continue to volunteer countless hours to make the tournament a success.

“We wanted something were all the money would be raised during the junior year so parents could enjoy their child’s senior year without having to worry about fundraising,” Erica said.

The reason for their hard work and dedication is simple – they want every senior to have the same gift they gave their children.

“We do this because we are moms,” Hayley said. “We want other kids to have a safe event one last time with their classmates.”

They are grateful to their husbands, children and dedicated community members who volunteer each year.

Hayley said it takes 175 volunteers. Kyle Palmer is responsible for training the referees. He says he has enjoyed working with the trio.

“Given what has to be accomplished from a logistical aspect, they are miracle workers,” Palmer said. “In creating this event, they did something extremely remarkable – they’ve brought the community together in support of a great, ongoing cause and have done it by creating an event that was new and unique to our community. Their vision has paired friendly (usually…) competition with a family atmosphere and has pulled off the rare trick of attracting the interest of all generations.”

Although everyone works hard, Palmer said the three women are “a class act and make every volunteer feel like they are vital. The age of those volunteers spans generations. They have been an amazing gift to the graduating classes of Silverton High.”

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