'We have a lot of
things in common'

Softball team visits Villa Marie for fun, fellowship, and perspective

The Pius X varsity softball team recently had a memorable game: with fellow students at Villa Marie. The team paid a visit to play games and enjoy each other’s company.

Villa Marie Home and School for Exceptional Children serves  students who are in need of special education services.

The Villa Marie students had prepared a snack for the team, then all played outdoor games before heading inside for coloring and board games. 

Elise Wilhelm, Senior, St. Joseph: “So we went last year and it is super eye opening because those kids are super happy, and they go and spend the week away from their family, and they are not always getting the physical love they want, so when they hug me, it means way more for them. It’s always nice to see them so happy and so grateful for everything they have.” 

Abigail Paige, Senior, St. Patrick: “For me it was nice to see that even though they are different from us, we have a lot of things in common. We all can play the same things and interact with each other. 

Matti Reiling, Junior, St. Peter: “I’ve been there once already so I kind of had an idea, but I was excited to see my friends that I met last year. Also I can expect to have a good feeling to come out of it knowing that you just made someone’s day and they just made your day, too.” 

Kate Gutschenritter, Junior, St. Joseph: “It was a really heart-warming experience because it had a big effect on all the softball players. It really made us all think how grateful we should be and how grateful we are for what we have.” 

Wilhelm: “I played chess with this little boy and he remembered me from last year. He had to teach me how to play chess, and he was like, ‘You don’t know how to play chess?’ And then he said, ‘Ugh, no one ever knows how to play chess.’ And then when we were done, he asked, ‘Can we say a prayer together? Thank you for my new best friend.’” 

Reiling: “If you make them happy or you make them smile, they tell you and you can tell. They express how grateful they are and tell you they are excited you are there. So when you walk in and recognize someone, and they recognize you, you can tell that you made an impact on them.” 

Paige: “They are appreciative of the things they have. We have phones and the newest technology, and they have toys and coloring books and playing basketball and they are happier with those little things.” 

Gutschenritter: “Best part was definitely playing softball with all the kids because they had been practicing for weeks before we came, and they showed us all their cool skills and tricks that they had, and it made the game more fun, a game that we all love to play.” 

Reiling: “I see those kids as a way to model our team because you watch the way they interact with each other, and they pick each other up, and they are each other’s family during the week. I think that’s what our team can do as well. They are just a true model of what a team or partnership can be.” 

Paige: “For some of them, it’s a second family for them there, and for us, we related it to our softball team being our second family.” 

Wilhelm: “I think we made a really good bond yesterday because I know it’s easy for us to get stuck in the ‘oh, I wish things were different. I wish we were winning more. I wish we could change this or that.’ The things we want to change aren’t as important as the things we are blessed with, so I think it will help us have a stronger bond.” 

Gutschenritter: “I definitely think we came closer together as a team.” 

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