Prague Volleyball

NET ACTION: Players battle against each other at the 2015 Beat Breast Cancer Mud Volleyball event held in Prague.  The event is traditionally held on the second Saturday in July, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers were forced to cancel the event.  The event would have been held on July 11 this year.  Tournament officials are still planning on honoring the financial commitment made to three breast cancer survivors and a  scholarship commitment made to a local high school student.  (Staff Photo Sam Farmer)

PRAGUE – The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another victim.

The 2020 Beat Brest Cancer Mud Volleyball Tournament held every year in Prague has been canceled.

The annual event, which started as a small 37-team mud volleyball tournament in Abie in 2008, has grown into one of the largest breast cancer fundraisers in the state of Nebraska.

The tournament moved to Prague in 2011 and has grown to 256 teams, often bringing more than 3,000 people to town every July.

Tournament founder Jeremy Stanislav, a Prague native, along with Pink Bandana Inc. board members, made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event after meeting with representatives from Three Rivers Public Health Department and talking with the Nebraska State Governor’s Office.

“It is very disappointing. A lot of people look forward to our event every year and we were holding out hope that we could still do it, but with the large number of people who come to support the tournament, it would just be too difficult to follow the directed health measures,” Stanislav said.

Stanislav said tournament organizers looked at moving the tournament to later in the year, but after talking with Three Rivers realized that it wasn’t going to be an option even in August or September.

“We take the public health and safety concerns seriously and just decided that it wouldn’t be possible to hold the event this year,” Stanislav said.

Rainbows often follow the rain and Stanislav did offer up some good news.

Each year, recipients from across Nebraska are chosen to receive financial support as they join the Pink Bandana family. Pink Bandana, Inc. also annually awards a college scholarship of up to $4,000.00 to a graduating high school senior who has been affected by breast cancer.

Over the past 12 years, Pink Bandana, Inc. has donated over $320,000 to individuals affected by breast cancer.

Despite the cancellation of the event, Stanislav said that this year’s recipients Caitlin Phelps a 27-year old from Lincoln, Brandi Moore a 36-year old from Omaha and Louisha Williams a 37-year old from Lincoln will each receive financial support from Pink Bandana Inc.

In addition, Michaela Dooley, a student at Yutan High School has been named the 2020 Pink Bandana Scholarship winner.

Stanislav said that it was important to see that the recipients and scholarship winner received support.

“When it became apparent that the tournament wouldn’t happen, we wanted to make sure we found a way to pay the recipients and scholarship winner. It puts us in a little bit of a bind for next year, but so be it,” Stanislav added.

If you are interested in supporting their efforts, you can make a tax-deductible donation, provide encouraging words via video or text, or send gifts to the recipients. Contact Pink Bandana at pitmudvb@pinkbandana.org or call (402) 679-1281.

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