Capstone Group Shares Winning Experience with Kids

The Dayton Dragons weren't the only winners at the ballpark on Sunday, April 17. The Senior Capstone group of Matt Allaire, Will Huffman, Connor Jordan, Tommy Krug and Matt Weckesser helped more than 40 kids feel like winners after the group took the children to Fifth Third Field.

"There is a group in Cincinnati called Reds Games for Kids and I got connected with them about a year ago," shared Allaire. "I thought it would be really cool to start our own group in Dayton as a Capstone Project because I saw how much it affected the kids in Cincinnati and how excited they were at the ballpark. I thought it would be a fun thing to do in Dayton too."

The group's mentor, Mike Hoendorf '03, suggested the seniors talk to the organization Building Bridges which identified kids from the Dakota Center and KIND (Kids In New Directions) to attend the Dragons game.

 "At the game, the kids got hats and t-shirts," Weckesser explained. "We wanted them to have fun, watch the game, and take them around showing the sense of community in the ballpark."

Krug noted, "I think the kids at the end were happy to have this experience."

Also attending the game was Tom Grabo with the Reds Games for Kids organization. Grabo dresses in full red and white body paint for Reds games, and made sure to don green and black when he attended the Dragons game. He also helped the Capstone group secure the hats and t-shirts to give to the kids.

When reflecting on the experience, Huffman said, "I think our capstone was unique in that we started on a project at the beginning, then we did our research and connected it to that. A lot of other groups had looked for a problem and then found a solution, but I think our Capstone was different in that we knew what we wanted to do the entire time."

Jordan added, "We hope the juniors continue this and maybe expand it to more than one game or even UD games next year." 

Posted April 26, 2016