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On Wednesday evening, February 1, 2017 nearly 300 Eastern Christian community members gathered at The Brownstone to celebrate EC athletics at the Annual Eastern Christian Athletic Booster Beefsteak. A traditional beefsteak is always a great night and we gathered anticipating copious amounts of tender beef and great fellowship.

Each year, the Boosters focus on a different aspect of the Eastern Christian athletics. Over the years we have honored successful teams from soccer and baseball, individual coaches for special achievement, and our cheerleaders. This year, we recognized an individual athlete.

Ethan Vander Molen is a senior at Eastern Christian and a member of the Eastern Christian varsity baseball team. As an infant, Ethan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Battling CF requires, what could be, an overwhelming regiment of therapy and medications each and every day to combat the symptoms of the disease. In addition, Ethan has undergone a multiple procedures, been hospitalized for treatments, and endured long absences from school. Despite these obstacles, Ethan has persevered and succeeded. He is a model student, a peer leader, and has been involved in athletics at EC since middle school. Ethan epitomizes the Athletic Pillars of Eastern Christian.

At the beefsteak, Ethan shared a bit of his story. He talked of his love for sports and particularly baseball and how important being part of a team has been for him. Ethan spoke of the team that has cared for, supported, and encouraged him over the years. That team included his doctors, the visiting nurse that comes to his home, the teachers who have nurtured his education, the friends who have been at his side through all that he endured, the community that has supported him in multiple ways, his family, his God, and, his parents. Ethan quoted Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Ethan’s words touched each and every guest on Wednesday night and they in turn responded with a standing ovation.

We thank God for the Eastern Christian Athletic Department and we are proud of our athletes who uphold the six pillars to athletic success: Glorify God, Strive for Excellence, Exemplify Christian Character, Run the Race to Win, Compete as One, and Be Committed.