LOMBARD – An envelope with vouchers for Cubs tickets or passes for the B96 Jingle Bash were in Faith Davies’ hands.
That was door No. 1, so to speak. Door No. 2 was something unimaginably better.
Davies, a Glenbard East senior, was awarded a new Jeep Compass Sport for her extensive volunteering efforts in conjunction with the PepsiCo Showdown soccer tournament.
As the white Jeep 4x4, courtesy of Zeigler Chrysler in Schaumburg, rolled through a door in the field house during East’s freshman orientation Aug. 11, Davies was in utter shock.
“I thought we were surprising [East girls soccer coach Kent] Overbey, so I had no idea what was going on,” Davies said. “I thought someone already won the car.”
The event also recognized Davies’ East teammates Mimi Camacho, Sam Johnson and Ali Liljestrand for their volunteer work. That trio also was awarded vouchers for Cubs tickets or passes to the Jingle Bash.
Players participating in the PepsiCo Showdown are encouraged to perform volunteer work and have the chance to apply for winning a car through Buddy’s Helpers, the charitable arm of the tournament. Davies was selected at random from all the applicants.
The PepsiCo Showdown for girls teams takes place in the spring. Tournament founder Joe Trost had reached out to Overbey in May about surprising Davies with her new car, but the scheduling never quite worked out. Overbey somehow kept a lid on the secret through the end of the 2016-17 school year and throughout the summer.
“It was pretty hard,” Overbey said. “Joe and I talked in May, but our school year ended pretty early and we couldn’t get it done in May. So then trying to come up with a date and still being in contact with Faith and trying to keep a straight face and not allude to anything, it was hard, but I think we did a great job all around.
“We kept it under wraps and you could see how surprised she was.”
Davies volunteers her time to The Garden Works Project, which encourages people to grow food and donate it to food pantries, Outreach House of Lombard, which serves low-income families in Lombard and Villa Park, and Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. She plans to add Peace for Pits, which rescues and finds homes for pit bulls and other “bully” dog breeds, in the near future.
“I really love dogs,” Davies said. “I want to be a vet when I’m older and I have a pit bull, so it’s kind of a heartfelt thing.”
Volunteering is something Davies does for her own satisfaction. Encouraged to perform selfless acts by her family and coaches, she said impacting someone’s life is reward enough as a volunteer.
It’s a lesson many of East’s players have taken to heart, Overbey said.
“Faith was one great example of many from our program,” the coach said. “We have at least 10 girls on the varsity doing multiple charitable volunteering things. Faith was the lucky winner here, but they’re all great kids and the PepsiCo Showdown was able to recognize them all. Sam Johnson, Mimi Camacho and Ali Liljestrand, all three of them work really hard, as well.”
Davies said she will use the car to go to and from soccer practices and games – no surprise there. The story of how she received the car may live on longer than the car itself.
“This is a story I’m going to tell everyone forever,” she said.