NEWTON — What started out as just a grudge-match volleyball tournament turned into a charity event by Newton Senior High students and others.
A boys’ volleyball tournament with the grand champion advancing to play the NHS varsity girls’ volleyball team — NHS Volleyball Showdown — took place Dec. 2. Admission was a new, unwrapped toy or a cash donation.
The competition was fierce. Fun was had by the participants and fans. Area children are benefiting from the generosity of those involved. They will have something special under their Christmas tree next week.
“We came up with the idea because we wanted to do a boys versus girls volleyball tournament. Then we decided to to make it into a volunteer charity event,” said Jen Ventling, a senior member of the Cardinal volleyball team.
Ventling and senior volleyball player Holly VanderPol, members of the NHS Student Athletic Advisory Council, chaired the event.
“We wanted to show the boys it’s not all that easy to play volleyball. We wanted to put them through their paces a little bit,” VanderPoll said. “Using the event for charity, we thought it would be more beneficial, not only to us but other people in the community.”
Ventling and VanderPol said the response was tremendous for the event. A large number of toys were donated along with a substantial cash donation, VanderPol said. The group used the cash to purchase more toys.
Ventling said toys were distributed to local banks with giving trees, P.J.’s Deli and to the Salvation Army.