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Aug 4, 2008 8:52 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Volleyball tournament will benefit Have A Heart

Aug 4, 2008 8:52 AM

The Have A Heart Community Trust has been a lifeline for East End residents in need since it was founded in 1991, providing everything from food to school supplies to financial assistance for families struggling to make ends meet. In order to increase its fund-raising capabilities and create even more awareness within the local community, Have A Heart will host its inaugural Have A Heart Beach Volleyball Bash at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton on August 19 and 20.

Have A Heart board members Bret Pawhul and Bill Wright put the tournament together and are hoping to make it an annual event.

“We wanted to do something athletic that shows you can raise money without having a cocktail party or dinner benefit,” Wright said. “We thought it would be different. We both play volleyball at the beach on the weekends, and a lot of people told us that if we did the tournament, they’d enter a team. We thought it would reach out to a different target market, and being on the ocean, you can’t go wrong.”

Wright said that he and Pawhul chose Cooper’s Beach because of its popularity and location.

“It’s ranked as one of the top beaches and we thought that would be a great attraction to people,” he said. “It has a concession stand and it’s centrally located.”

Thus far, 20 six-member teams have signed up for the tournament, although Wright said that there is not a limit to how many teams can enter. The cost to enter a team is $250. Games will take place on Tuesday, August 19, and Wednesday, August 20, from 5:30 until 8 p.m. with the finals scheduled for Thursday, August 21. There will be live music at the beach as well for the finals.

Pawhul and Wright, both 27 and graduates of Pierson and Southampton high schools, respectively, said they received a good response from the larger community, with teams from the Westhampton area to East Hampton already signed up to participate. Many local businesses have signed on as sponsors as well, while Fuze Energy Drinks has committed as a major sponsor, providing balls and gift bags for the event.

All proceeds will benefit the Have A Heart Community Trust, which works in partnership with local not for profit organizations to provide help wherever it is needed. Money raised from the volleyball event will be directed specifically toward families who have a difficult time purchasing back to school items for their children.

To find out more about the Have A Heart Beach Volleyball Bash or make a donation, visit haveaheartcommunitytrust.com.

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