• By: Emily Cordonier

Hope Volleyball Summerfest: Serving Up a Win for Charity

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Photos courtesy of Hope Volleyball Summerfest

More than 25 thousand people will take to the sands of Mooney’s Bay this weekend to bump, set and spike for a worthy cause. 2017 marks the 35th anniversary of the Big Rig Brewery presents HOPE Volleyball Summerfest. Over the past few decades it has grown to become the largest outdoor one day beach volleyball tournament in all of North America, but this impressive event actually started from a humble beginning.

Back in 1981 a group of Ottawa friends were inspired by Terry Fox’s run across Canada. Together they wanted to make a difference in their community and so, HOPE was born. HOPE is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit events management organization that raises funds for community-based charities.

Volleyball Summerfest has become HOPE’s flagship event. It combines recreational volleyball with live rock entertainment. Over the past 35 years’ participants have helped HOPE donate more than $3.5 million in support of more than 110 local charities. It’s pretty impressive when you consider it all began with a small group of friends that just wanted to make a difference.

All of the money raised from this summer’s event will go towards the following charities: the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa, Children at Risk, Dress for Success Ottawa National Capital Region, Shepherds of Good Hope, Ottawa Community Housing Foundation and Waupoos Foundation.

This year’s edition of Volleyball Summerfest kicks off early in the morning on July 15. It will feature around 1000 co-ed teams made up for anywhere from 6 to 10 players. Anyone can take part, and have a shot at some great prizes as well as ultimate bragging rights. There are four divisions – recreational, corporate, competitive and competitive plus.

But HOPE Summerfest isn’t all about volleyball. There is an amazing Canadian concert line-up for those who are looking to have a great time, without working up a sweat on the court. The HOPE mainstage concert area provides music-lovers a great musical experience with plenty of elbow room. The musical acts kick off shortly after 11 in the morning and run into the evening. This year’s headlining act is The Strumbellas with co-headlining acts The Lowest of the Low and USS, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker. Tickets are $20 in advance, $27 at the gate and children aged 9 and under are admitted to the festival free of charge.

HOPE Summerfest organizers are crossing their fingers that the weather cooperates, and the sun shines down on another successful year of this exciting event. So, grab your sunglasses and hat and consider heading down to Mooney’s Bay to cheer on some great volleyball and enjoy some rocking music.