Hope for a Cure Volleyball Match Raises Funds With Friendly Competition


A friendly volleyball match at Highland High School has placed alumni against students, and even parents against children, all in the name of a good cause.  The Hope for a Cure Volleyball Match was held this year on Friday, November 9, 2018.  Middle School Coach, Shelley Thomas, Junior Varsity Coach, Lauren Sampson, and Varsity Coach, Cindy Wood, helped organize this year’s event, which is usually held in November just after the regular season is over.  Cindy Wood has more on this night of fun competition.

Ms. Wood says, “Our three volleyball teams, Middle School, JV, and Varsity, play against what we call the ‘Oldies, but Goodies.’  It’s a mixture of staff, alumni and parents who come in that night, and we divide up the ‘Oldies, but Goodies,’ and take on the three volleyball teams.  We play the best of three sets in each match.”

“This year, we had about sixteen to eighteen ‘Oldies, but Goodies’ play against the three volleyball teams, and the ‘Oldies’ beat our Middle School team.  It was a close one, though.  It went to three sets.  JV, the ‘Oldies’ won again, but the Varsity Team end up beating us ‘Oldies,’ which is kinda mixed emotions since I’m the Varsity Coach.  I guess it’s a good thing to be beat by your own team, but, of course, I always hate to lose,” she says with a laugh.

Though the winners get to take home the satisfaction of their victory for a year, the bigger prize is the money raised to help others.  The charity volleyball games began with coach Margie Swanger several years ago, and the raised funds from the “pink matches” went to breast cancer research via Susan G. Komen.  “And in the past few years, we converted it to a Hope for a Cure Volleyball Match, where we raise money for different cancer associations,” continues Cindy Wood.  “This year, we played for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and also the Kidney Cancer Association, and we like to do this, because, as we know, cancer seems like it’s really becomin’ a prevalent disease in our society, and we just like to help raise money to help with research.  Hopefully, we can find a cure one day.

“I think every year, it’s gettin’ a little bigger.  This year, we raised more money than we ever have, which is great.  We raised about $950, and we’ll split that between the two associations.  Before the match, we do a t-shirt sale that has the colors that we’re playin’ for that particular year, so we raise money from sellin’ some t-shirts.  I think we sold fifty shirts this year, and we have a free-will donation bucket at the door.  We sell baked goods, and we also do a service target game, where in between the volleyball matches, people in the stands and the players, could pay a dollar a serve.  On side of the net, we lay down some targets, and if you serve and hit a target, you come pick a prize, and that’s always a lot of fun.”

Ms. Wood foresees continuing the annual tradition in to the future.  However, instead of the money going to a national foundation or association, she is interested in keeping the money local.  She says, “One thing I would like to look in to more is, instead of have the funds go to the foundations, I would love to look in to somehow setting up a local fund, where someone who’s havin’ treatments, if they would need some gas money, meal money, just those little things you don’t think about that add up whenever you’re travelin’ across the mountains for, you know, radiation or chemo or checkups or whatever.  I would like to try to figure out how to keep the money in the Highland community.”

If anyone wants to get involved in the future, whether as a participant or as someone with ideas on how to raise and distribute money nationally or locally, Coach Cindy Wood can be reached at 540-468-6366.

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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