Dozens of residents gather to remember an MSSU soccer player, Denine Tahbaz who suddenly passed this week after complications from a tumor.
Everyone gathered at a local gym to support each other as well as her family and friends.
“I’d just kind of like to thank the Joplin community, Midwestern Built especially, Gusano’s, and just kind of the entire Southern faculty and staff. They’ve all been super supportive, not only to me, but also to the rest of the team and to Denine’s family,” says Alex Mccord, MSSU soccer player.
Missouri Southern women’s soccer team held a fundraiser Friday evening at Midwestern Built Joplin. This event was to honor the passing of lion’s soccer player, Denine Tahbaz, who passed away Wednesday after complications from a brain tumor.
“Just doing a workout tonight in honor of Denine. As many of you know she unfortunately passed away this past week, so we’re just here to support her and her family and let her family know that we’re going to miss her,” says Chris McNaughton, MSSU women’s soccer coach.
Gusano’s donated pizza to the team to sell, so all the money raised goes straight to Tahbaz’s family’s travel expenses. And since the soccer team has trained at Midwestern Built before, the location makes sense for this fundraiser.
“We’ve been fortunate to have Missouri Southern athletes in our gym. Coaches, strength and conditioning coaches as part of our community here for the last two years, so the soccer team is close to us, obviously because Denine is so close to them,” says Jason Ansley.
And many of the players and coaches were reminiscing about the wonderful memories they’ve had with Denine on and off the field.
“Oh gosh playing with Denine was incredible. She always kind of had this air about here that just made the energy positive and really happy. No matter what she always had a smile. She always had a laugh. She always had a song to sing really,” says Alex McCord.
“You know I loved Denine. I love all my kids. You know it was a great experience. You know we had her for three years and you know it’s just you know crushing that she’s not going to be with us anymore, so it was an awesome experience. She is a great kid,” says Jason Ansley.
The MSSU women’s soccer team will be holding another fundraising event at Gusano’s this Monday.
“So on Monday we have a kind of a benefit dinner for her from 5:30 to eight I believe. If you go in and eat dinner at Gusano’s, they are going to donate 100% of the profits to her family,” says Alex McCord.