PRAGUE – The 2019 Beat Breast Cancer Mud Volleyball Tournament is a month away and that means that tournament founder and Pink Bandana President Jeremy Stanislav is a pretty busy guy right now.
“The days are pretty long right now. But that’s okay, because I am surrounded by great people who make my life a lot easier,” remarked Stanislav, who has been organizing the annual volleyball tournament since 2008.
The tournament started 13 years ago in Abie with 37 teams. The tournament has since moved to Stanislav’s hometown of Prague and boasts 240 teams.
All of the proceeds from the one-day tournament are used to provide financial assistance to three women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
A $4,000 scholarship is also given each year to a high school senior who is planning on attending a two-year or four-year college.
This year’s tournament will be held in Prague on July 13 and will recognize and support cancer survivors Kate Gorman, Janae Kindra and Mya Wittmaack.
“Our recipients this year are so deserving. I mean they always are, but this year we are getting money to families who are really in need of support,” Stanislav said.
Stanislav and the Pink Bandana board of directors have been working since March to line up security, portable bathrooms, vendors and working out all of the logistics necessary to accomodate more than 2,000 people.
Over the next month Stanislav and a host of volunteers will make sure that the eight volleyball pits and the grounds around the old Prague baseball and football field are ready for the mas
sive crowds of people and vehicles.
A number of the players bring come with a camper and park it just to the north of the volleyball pits. Stanislav reminds everyone that spots for campers need to be reserved and typically the spots are fill up quickly.
As of Friday, 34 spots remained to compete in the 240-team tournament and registration was still open.
The cost per team was dropped to $180 this year after last year’s tournament failed to sell out for the first time in the tournament’s history.
“Three years ago we raised the price to $240 per team and that was a mistake. We got away from what this tournament is all about and we wanted to institute changes that would make it more affordable for the college age kids,” added Stanislav.
For more information on the tournament and this year’s recipients check out pinkbandana.org.