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July 11, 2014

FOL volleyball tournament brings Christmas cheer in July

CHICKASHA —

The Festival of Light's volleyball tournament kicked off several months of fundraising efforts on July 4. 

Board President Blake Elliot said the event was a success.

The Sand Slam Volleyball tournament attracted eight teams, including both local and area players, according to a FOL press release. 

Festival board member Amy Simer chaired the event’s organization and was pleased with the number and quality of teams. 

“With this being the first year for the event, we were unsure of what to expect as far as number of teams, but we were pleased to have eight sign up and participate in the tournament,” Simer said. “We were also very impressed with the quality of the teams. Again, we didn’t know what to expect, but the teams far exceeded our expectations.” 

The double-elimination tournament began at 9:30 am, and concluded somewhere around 5: 30 pm, with a young team from Cement, the Sandslingers, beating out Team Brookman in the finals. 

“We had a great crowd of supporters out there cheering on the teams for the duration of the tournament,” Simer said. “Overall, the event went very well. There are some things that we will discuss and change for the future, but in the end, we were very pleased.” 

A pulled pork dinner followed the tournament.

“The dinner sales were slow at first, but once we dropped the price a bit, we began selling more,” Elliott said. “There are some things that we will look at doing differently in the future as far as the dinner goes, but this year went well, and was a learning experience for all of us.” 

Several businesses contributed to the event minimizing costs for FOL. 

Major contributors included the YMCA, Standley Systems, Canadian Valley Tech Center, USAO, Spencer’s, Star Trophy, Tornado Alley, String Up Specialists and Security Finance. “Without the help of these businesses, we wouldn’t have been able to pull off this event and make any profit to benefit the Festival,” Elliott said. “In all, we made around $2,000, although we don’t have an exact figure just yet.” 

Elliott said the FOL board will continue to work to raise funds up until the Festival begins in November. 

Anyone interested in making a donation to the Festival of Light may do so through their “GoFundMe” account www.gofundme.com/8scxpg, or find the link on the Festival of Light Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChickashaFestivalOfLight.

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