Danielle put on her soccer cleats for the first time as a kindergartner and spent her first game holding hands with her best friend, Alex, giggling and kicking the ball and not quite sure what direction they were supposed to go. Those were our earliest memories of the little girl who found her love of sports. We should have known that she was going to be active and somewhat athletic when she began walking at 9 mos. of age, climbing structures, dancing, and riding ponies before she’d started kindergarten. She enjoyed adventure and shared that spirit of enthusiasm and pleasure with others.
We moved to Eugene from California in 1993 and heard about Kidsports and signed her and her brother up to play soccer. It was the beginning of a way of life for our family ……… attending soccer, basketball, and soft ball games; going to tournaments, coaching, refereeing and chauffeuring kids. She loved it all!
In her own words while in high school: “I have many different interests; I love to be outdoors and always doing something. I’ve always loved playing sports and have been pretty good at it. So never think that you are too old, or not good enough to play again. It is something fun, and these days, it seems like some people have forgotten what fun is. I challenge you all out there to go out and pick up a ball or something and go do something you normally wouldn’t do, or haven’t done in a while. People will never be too old to play and have fun. Believe it or not you actually can learn new things just playing and having a good old time.”
Dani continued to “play” soccer and softball as a young adult. They were her “go-to” sports. Dani put on her cleats for the last time on October 31, 2013, to enter a different spiritual journey.
In her memory, we have found ways each year to give back to others what our daughter was fortunate to receive, an opportunity to play sports, find pleasure in healthy recreational outlets and share that passion with others. So, in that spirit, we think she would have liked that we support Kidsports to continue providing the “multi-sport approach so that kids can play a variety of sports,” especially for all kids who might otherwise not have that opportunity. And in her words, “It really makes you feel good about yourself knowing that you are giving service to your community and helping others out. I find that very rewarding.” Thank you Dani for the gifts you left with us……….
Your parents and brother, Rob, Patty & Chris