On April 16 of 2011, the Triangle Blazers Class of 2017 was playing in a tournament in Dunn, North Carolina when tornados touched down in the city. Patrick Kenny described what happened as follows: (these are his words from an essay he wrote).
“As the second half of the game started, it started to get very dark and a storm was coming. The lights started flickering and power went out in the gym. At first, it was pretty cool being in the dark but then a very scared woman came running into the gym telling us a tornado was coming through and we needed to take shelter. Our whole team stood together in a huddle in the back of the auditorium. Soon my mom, dad and sister found me and the four of us stayed together. My sister was very scared so I went over to calm her down and tried to make her feel better. As the tornado approached we heard the wind and hail outside the building. I don’t know how long it lasted but it seemed to go by pretty quick. The power didn’t come back on in our gym so they sent us to the local high school to finish our game. On the ride over to the new gym we all saw broken windows and down trees in Dunn. A lot of people had so much damage to their homes and yards. Some of the stores had smashed windows and we saw some damaged mobile homes. It was hard to finish our game thinking about what happened. They canceled the rest of the tournament Sunday when they realized how bad it was. On our way home from the game we saw more devastations that shocked us.”
Joe Niemchak said ” I got really scared and thought that a tornado would touch down and hit us. I can’t imagine how it felt for the people that got hurt from the tornado and I feel really bad for them. I’m sending the money I raise to a charity in Dunn that will help pay for medical supplies that help the victims that got hurt heal faster. It will also help replace things that the people lost when their homes were destroyed”.
Luke Colwell said ” I want to give to the tornado victims. I hope that the money I earn will help repair the town. I feel sorry for the families that lost their homes. There are so many kids just like us that have no home and no toys. I can’t stand it that kids that did nothing wrong lost the house they live in.”