New ping pong table arrives, with hopes for a new tournament

By Ariana Feder, staff Writer

After months of planning and a fundraising drive among students and faculty, a brand new Ping Pong table finally arrived in the PE room on Friday, May 20. The table, which occupies most of the athletic department office’s floor space, is available to students and faculty during breaks and free periods during the school day.

“We as a community put our hands together and our wallets and came up with the funds to provide school with another source of entertainment,” said Athletic Director Ronnie “Flava” Winbush, who spearheaded the campaign.

With the arrival of the new table, a Ping Pong tournament for students and some faculty is underway as a semi-fundraiser.  At $10 per entry, the winner will receive half the pooled money and the other half will benefit the Athletic Department. Coach Flava said that 21 students and teachers have signed up so far.

“Ping pong rallies on!” said enthusiast and tournament advisor Mr. Chris Buckley, math and science teacher.

After starting off with $80 that the ping-pong players-the “Shalhevet Pongers”- had contributed, Mr. Buckley made an announcement at Town Hall in April about the plans to buy a new table, and the rest of the money was raised in just two weeks.  The final cost of the table was undisclosed, according to Coach Flava.

“Special thanks to faculty that contributed,” he said, “this is what happens when great minds come together for a positive cause.”

The new table is the second to arrive at school this year.  The first was returned to the home of sophomore Danny Silberstein after his grandparents, who had bought it, said they had intended it for his family, not school. Danny said he had been hoping for a ping-pong table at school for two years now.

“Well frankly, I had this idea of a Shalhevet ping pong team since I was in ninth grade,” Danny said. “I even made a sign-up sheet called ‘the Shalhevet Pongers.’”

Coach Flava said sophomores Elliot Sassover and Max Lipner, both Firehawk tennis stars, were favored to win the first-ever tournament.

“Sass is the hands-down favorite,” said Flava, “with Max Lipner running close behind.”

Not only do the boys enjoy the sport but they benefit from the unity of the game as well, they said.

“Ping pong is a great bonding activity,” said Elliot Sassover.

“We warmly welcome anyone who has interest in table tennis, especially the Buckster,” said Flava, referring to his tournament co-host.