Service-Learning | News: Commitment honored

Commitment honored in spite of defeat

By Jim W. Miller, Ed.D.

The records will only note that on this night (October 7, 2005), the Silversword Women’s Volleyball team was swept 3-0 by the UH Hilo Vulcans. But there are a number of parents and teachers of 21 young 4th, 6th and 8th grade students from Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School (WEIS), friends and families of the team, and a few Chaminade faculty and staff who witnessed the hearts of the women of the Silversword Women’s Volleyball team. With the effects of the defeat still stinging, the Silversword women honored the 21 young WEIS students they had invited to the game and to whom they had promised a pizza dinner. During the evening, the sting of the defeat was softened by the genuine sharing of self and love among the Silversword women and the young WEIS students.

What the Silversword women did not know was that, without prompting or hinting from parents or teachers, the WEIS students had discussed and agreed among themselves that, never mind the score, when the Silversword women appeared, they would receive loud cheers of welcome. When the WEIS students saw team members appear at the tent in the Henry Hall courtyard, the tent erupted with screams and cheers. During the pizza dinner, the Silversword women placed themselves at different tables, further convincing the WEIS students that they were among friends.

The Wednesday earlier, the Silversword women had conducted a volleyball clinic for the WEIS students. The Silversword women did not know that these students had often been disappointed that promises made were not always kept. Fourteen students had attended the clinic. Twenty-one accepted the Silversword women’s invitation to their game. The invitation included a bus and a pizza dinner. The students were thrilled at the start of the game when the Silversword women entered the stands and present each student with a waterbottle. A cooler filled with juice was sitting on the bleachers to go along with a “spam musubi” to hold them over until dinner after the game. When the WEIS students reluctantly boarded the bus, each clutched a Chaminade Hallowe’en goodie bag. If the game had been played after the pizza dinner, the score would have been different.