Lions Volleyball Team to Host Benefit Beach Tournament for the Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU) on May 11

NEGUVballBump, set, spike and support a good cause on Saturday, May 11 at the beach. Vanguard University’s Lions Volleyball is teaming up with California FCA Volleyball and Huntington Beach’s Mariners Church to host a beach volleyball tournament to raise money for the Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU).

The tournament will take place on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach with an onsite signup from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and games starting at 9 a.m. There will be three brackets: College Doubles, which is $25 a person; Co-ed A, $100 for a team of four; and Co-ed B, also $100 for a team of four. The co-ed teams must have at least two girls on the team. Donations are welcome and all proceeds will go to NEGU.

The purpose of the tournament is to support and raise money for the Jessie Rees Foundation (NEGU). Inspired by a 12-year-old girl, Jessica Joy Rees, who fought two brain tumors for 10 months before losing her fight, NEGU focuses on spreading her message of love and encouragement to other children who are fighting cancer. Rees created the motto “NEGU”, which stands for “Never Ever Give Up.” While spreading this motto, the foundation gives JoyJars to children fighting life-altering medical illnesses. In addition to new toys, games and activities, these jars are filled with hope, joy and love.

Vanguard volleyball player Rachael Barker, a freshman kinesiology/pre-health major, envisioned the event at the end of her team’s fall season. Barker said her coach encouraged the players to find traditions that they could be a part of and pass on to future team members. While praying about this, Barker came up with the idea to host a benefit beach volleyball tournament to support a good cause. Having heard about NEGU from a friend, Barker visited their website, watched their video and knew they were the one.

Preparing for the event, Barker, FCA Volleyball and Mariners Church have held several meetings, worked on promotion, contacted businesses and organizations to participate, and so much more. “The planning has been good… People are more than willing to help out,” Barker said.

Through prayer and diligence, Barker has acquired donations from various businesses including Chic-fil-A, Activate and Innovative Results. Participants will receive free Chic-fil-A sandwiches and Activate water. Bracket winners will receive prizes including free personal training sessions at Costa Mesa’s Innovative Results.

Students, faculty and staff should bring their friends and join in this special event because “it’s an excuse to be on the beach all day while helping out,” Barker said. Counting down for the big day, Barker said: “I’m looking forward to watching people have fun and do two things I love: play volleyball and help people.”

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