| Volleyball tournament returns to aid STARSFort Macleod Gazette

The 19th co-ed volleyball tournament in support of STARS air ambulance lifts off in mid April.

Registration is under way for the 40-team tournament April 14-16 with a goal of funding two missions by the air ambulance.

“We should be able to do that,” Fort Macleod Volleyball Club president Mike Bourassa said. “Last year we were just short of funding two because we took on some extra costs.”

Each life-saving mission by the air ambulance costs about $5,400.

Organizers are hopeful that Fort Macleod will continue its tradition of strong support for the tournament.

“There are a lot of people in our community who are connected to STARS,” Chelsie Wolff said.

The tournament organizing committee is made up of Bourassa, Wolff, Lauren Roelofson, Leanne Neels, Lindsey Zielinski, Paige Knauf, Angela Martin, Brayden Van Driesten, Janene Van Driesten, Landon Schneider, Tom Lyon, and Wes Stockton.

The tournament will accept 10 teams in each of the competitive, intermediate, recreational and beer league divisions.

The $500 entry fee guarantees each team at least four matches on the courts at Fort Macleod and District Sports Center and WA Day school.

The first teams to pay the registration fee, which can be sent to Mike Bourassa at PO Box 1684, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0 or by e-transfer to [email protected] will be accepted.

Registration includes a $100 bond for each team that will be refunded if the team plays all its games.

The organizers raised the registration fee to $500 per team from $400, due in large part to rising costs associated with hosting the tournament.

“It’s still comparable to other tournaments,” Wolff said.

The registration fee includes tickets to a dinner and dance on Saturday night at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.

Ten teams had already paid the registration fee by Wednesday.

“I’ve heard from most of the teams that were in last year and none of them said they weren’t going to come,” Bourassa said.

Each team is to be composed of up to eight players, with a minimum of three women.

The deadline to register is Friday, March 31. Last year the tournament had a waiting list of eight teams.

Another change implemented this year as part of an effort to cut costs to raise the amount donated to STARS is that players will referee other games.

The losing team in each match in the recreational and beer league divisions must provide officials for the next match on the court during round-robin.

“We’re always looking for ways to get as much of the money we bring in to STARS,” Wolff said.

Organizers are also implementing a $10 admission fee for spectators. Children aged 12 years and under will be admitted free of charge.

New this year is a beer garden Friday and Saturday at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.

The Queen’s Hotel previously hosted the beer gardens but it is closed for renovations this year.

Organizers are seeking sponsors for the tournament at the following levels of participation:

Platinum —Donations of $250 or more. The volleyball club will buy a professionally-made banner featuring the business name.

Gold — Donations of $100 to $249.

Silver — Donations ranging from $50 to $99.

Bronze — Donations of up to $49.

Door Prize — Donations for the Saturday night raffle.

In its 18 previous years the tournament raised more than $125,000 for STARS air ambulance.

“We’re trying to find ways to make it better every year,” Bourassa said.

To get involved, contact Mike Bourassa at 403-849-7529 or [email protected]


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