Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why I'm Boarding the Plane Tomorrow

By Molly Duncan '11

For a few months, Morgan Clark, Davidson’s Assistant Sports Marketing Director, had a link posted at the bottom of all of her E-mail messages that led viewers to a web site set up to raise funds for this 10-day trip to Nigeria. Written right below this link was the quote: “Kick’s From ‘Cats-The Final Stage.” And for so many of us, this trip is.

For Morgan and Lauren, what began as a running joke and far-fetched dream will become reality when they step on the plane tomorrow.

For two renowned college basketball coaches, a vision of progress through basketball, academics, and the power of relationships will become a reality when they step on the plane tomorrow.

For Bruce Bodman, one of our trip leaders and our organizational mastermind from Samaritan’s Feet, the role of trip planner has recently transformed into that of active participant — tomorrow that will become reality.

So where does that leave me? I’m only 20 and am often (two days ago, most recently) mistaken for 16. I am the only Davidson student (besides Andrew and Frank who will meet us on the ground) on the trip, and my contributions to this trip — and to the world, for that matter — pale in comparison to the 13 others I’m traveling with.

But I’ve always had passion, so that’s where I’ll start.

I have three major passions that are relevant to this story: Davidson basketball, Dr. Kathie Turner and children.

My dad played basketball for Davidson, I grew up playing and watching basketball, and I do not miss Davidson home games. I was at the 2008 SoCon tournament when a few hundred of us knew that team was special.

I, of course, was in Detroit.

I relish the fact that my Chapel-Hill residing friends do not believe me when I say that here, everyone knows everyone, and yes- #30 is included. I love Davidson, and I love Davidson basketball.

This is where Dr. Turner comes in. Dr. Turner, for those who have not had the privilege, is self-proclaimed “queen of the Communications department,” owner of the largest Dum-Dum lollipop fleet on campus, and a second mother to me.

After receiving an E-mail one morning from the queen herself, I hurried in to her office. Knowing of passion #1, she asked if I would be interested in producing a two-minute segment for ESPN-U about Andrew Lovedale and the upcoming shoe drive.

Jumping at this opportunity, I agreed, barely hearing that it was set to air in one week. After a few interviews and 30 hours with my invaluable technical assistant/savior Ross Lackey, we had a two-minute clip. For those of you who have seen the clip, you have glimpsed the compassionate spirit that Andrew Lovedale possesses.

One thing, that unfortunately got cut, was this quote that has stuck with me since February: “When they receive that pair of shoes, I only wish you could see the smiles on their faces for yourself.”

So, here I go.

I love children, and that’s why I’m boarding the plane tomorrow.

I am infected with the passion that Andrew has spread on this campus, and that’s why I’m boarding the plane tomorrow.

I believe that we can, and that we will, make a difference. And that’s why I’m boarding the plane tomorrow.

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