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West Fargo students play in charity dodgeball event for Caleigh

Caden Jastram, a freshman at Sheyenne High School, throws at the opposing team during the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 15, at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo. Photo by Michael Vosburg 1 / 6
Students take part in the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo. Michael Vosburg 2 / 6
Dustin Mertz, right, 14, catches the ball to tag out Marcus Gulley, 13, during the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 15, at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo. Photo by Michael Vosburg 3 / 6
Fans watch the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at Cheney Middle School, West Fargo. Michael Vosburg 4 / 6
Hayden Reynolds, left, looks to Cheyenne High School classmate Cole Setter during the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at Cheney Middle School, West Fargo. Michael Vosburg 5 / 6
Kaila Capouch referees for the Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at Cheney Middle School, West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor 6 / 6

The West Fargo community rallied around a Cheney Middle School seventh-grader last week in her fight against cancer.

The Chuck it Dodgeball Tournament was created four years ago as a fundraiser after Sheyenne High School senior Charley Weber, then a freshman, was injured in a snowmobile accident.

The dodgeball tournament this year benefited Caleigh Jordahl-Damm, who is battling a recurrence of brain cancer.

Caleigh Jordahl-DammCaleigh and her parents, Jason and Katie Damm, were at the tournament, and said they appreciated the community support.

“It’s definitely overwhelming, just to see people come together and want to help out,” Katie Damm said. “When Mr. Froeber had talked to me, it definitely brought a little tear to my eye, just because it was so sweet that somebody would want to do something to help out.”

Tournament co-organizer Kevin Froeber said more than 15 middle school and high school teams participated in the fundraiser and raised more than $3,200. The Dakota Medical Foundation matched what was raised, bringing the total to more than $6,400.

“We feel good about helping one of our own here at Cheney Middle School,” Froeber said. “I see her every other day in class and she’s been very strong during all of this, and very courageous, and you always see her with a smile on her face.”

Caleigh’s parents said she remains positive and helped plan the event as a member of the school’s student council.

“She loves it; she definitely doesn’t hide the fact she has cancer, and I think for her she likes to know that people aren’t excluding her because she’s sick,” Katie Damm said.

The event also had donation boxes for another West Fargo girl, 4-year-old Braelyn Peterson, the daughter of a West Fargo High School teacher, who has leukemia.

How to help

Donations can be made at https://impactgiveback.org/app/#/charity/170.

Josh Francis

Josh is a general assignment reporter for The Forum and the sports reporter for the West Fargo Pioneer. Josh previously interned as a reporter for the Reading Eagle in Reading, Penn. and worked as a freelance reporter for the Orange County Register in California. He welcomes story ideas via email or phone. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to letters@forumcomm.com.

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