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Volleyball tournament aims to help veterans

| Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carroll Hall and Lyons Hall will host the second annual Volley for the Vets volleyball tournament Sunday. Games commence at 10 a.m. and participation is open to all students.

For a donation of $5, teams can enter the tournament and will play at least two games, which will take place on the volleyball courts near Carroll and Lyons Hall, respectively.

Sophomore Matt Bridgman, one of the event’s student organizers, stressed the importance of supporting veterans.

“Veterans are definitely a group that need a lot of financial support. Healthcare for veterans is constantly in the news,” Bridgman said. “We wanted people to get excited about helping.”

In keeping with Notre Dame’s historically close relationship with veterans causes, all proceeds will directly benefit the Notre Dame Veterans Fund.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless’ website, there are 144,000 homeless veterans. Additionally, one in every eight soldiers suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veterans charities focus on providing food, shelter and counseling for returning military members.

Student organizers currently have tables set up in both dining halls where students can sign up to play. Students can continue to sign up through the end of the day Friday or on the event’s Facebook page. Bridgman said that the list of participants grows daily.

Sophomore Katie McGuckin, also a student organizer, views the tournament as a way to honor veterans and bring awareness to the Notre Dame Veterans Fund.

“There’s a veteran who is a graduate student at Notre Dame, so we’re hoping that he will be there so we can honor him,”  McGuckin said. “We’re also hoping to get ROTC involved. We have the reigning champions from last year playing again so we hope it will be a continual event that people look forward to.”

In addition to volleyball games, students will have the opportunity to buy T-shirts and food, as well as win prizes. These proceeds will also benefit veterans’ charities.

Since the beginning of the week, the organizers have been working to promote the event around campus through posters, dining hall table tents and word of mouth. Students will also be wearing the event’s T-shirt today to advertise. T-shirts will be available to purchase at the tournament for $10.

Bridgman hopes that the turnout this year’s turnout surpasses last year’s.

“We just want to get the time slots as full as possible,” Bridgman said. “Ideally the event grows so much that the two courts aren’t even enough and we add a third court or we need as many locations as possible. Last year one court was full all day. We want to get both filled completely.”

Sophomore Caroline Reidy, another student organizer, also recognized the importance of expanding the event.

“We’re definitely trying to increase the size and get the word out more,” Reidy said “Last year was the first tournament and was a test-run…so this year we’re trying to make it bigger.”

McGuckin predicts that 30 teams will sign up and is hoping for $1,000 in proceeds. T-shirts represent the most revenue so far.

The annual event not only supports veterans’ causes, but also fosters community between Carroll and Lyons Halls.

“This is a great opportunity for Carroll and Lyons to grow in a relationship as brother and sister dorm,” Bridgman said.

McGuckin said the students of the two halls have been instrumental in creating this year’s event through promotion and working shifts. Sophomore Katie Brown has also been working in conjunction with Bridgman, Reidy, and McGuckin.

“It’s a lot of getting the halls behind it. Lyons has been great in pushing this forward. They have all been really excited about shirts, giving input, and signing up to work dining hall shifts and shifts the day of. We have people working on posters and Carroll has been working on food,” McGuckin said. “There’s a big dorm-filled energy which has just been great.”

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