Dragons, Panthers volleyballers raise $3K to fight cancer
ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Fair-land defeated Chesapeake 25-13, 25-16 and 25-17 in high school volleyball Thursday night, but the real number that mattered was $3,400 the teams raised to help Tanner Harr battle cancer.
Harr a senior Chesapeake basketball standout, is battling cancer in his knee. The teams decided to designate Thursday’s game at Fair-land’s Carl York Center as their Volley for a Cure contest and money raised through admission, donations, raffles and a bake sale went to help Harr.
“I’m very thankful for everything everybody’s doing for me,” Harr said.
That the Dragons and Panthers, fierce rivals on the court, cooper cooperated off it wasn’t a surprise. The schools teamed up on a similar fundraiser for Fairland student Ally Henderson, who had thyroid cancer, last basketball season. Harr said that the foes worked together showed the spirit of both schools.
“I’m glad everybody comes together when someone needs it,” Harr said.
Harr’s close friend Karli Davis, a standout volleyball player at Chesapeake, said she was thrilled Harr benefited from the fundraiser.
“It definitely means a lot,” Davis said. “It’s great that we can put aside our rivalry and come together when someone needs something. That we did it in volleyball, which is my favorite sport, and coming together formy friend makes it more special.” Both teams desired victory and the intensity showed on the court.
As the match finished, however, the players mingled and celebrated their fundraising efforts.
“These are girls I’ve grown up playing volleyball and basketball against and we’re rivals, but off the court we’re close knit,” Fairland’s Kelsie Warnock said. “We heard about Tanner and we wanted to help and this is a great way to do that.”
Warnock’s teammate, Allie Marshall, said the rivalry took a backseat to the primary focus Thursday.
“The game always is nerve wracking, but we love helping Tanner, who is a great athlete,” Marshall said. “We did it last year with Ally and showed we can set aside our differences and come together as family.”
The stands featured fans of both teams, but athletes from other schools stopped by as well and offered their support to Harr, who was greeted warmly in the hall outside the gym.
“It’s going great” Harr said of his progress. “I’m on a break from my treatment right now.”
Harr’s family members said his cancer isn’t curable, but is treatable. He will resume out-patient chemotherapy as he and his family explore treatment options.