“Our main focus is helping children who are battling cancer,” said Amy Johnson-Parker, president of the Gordon Optimist Club. “However, we also assist children in our community with other needs as well.”
Williams died at her home in June after a five-year battle with cancer. Williams was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in 2005, and except for a brief remission in 2006, she had been on continuous treatment.
More than half a dozen teams are expected to play in the third annual Gordon Optimist Club mud volleyball tournament in Calhoun.
The tournament will take place on the new portion of the city recreation center on McDaniel Station Road on Aug. 28. Entry fees start at $200 per team (early bird special) before Aug. 13 and spectators are welcome to watch for free.
Rising sixth grade students and up are eligible to play in the tournament and participants under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent.
Johnson-Parker said the proceeds raised from the tourney would go back into the community.
“We do various types of things like sponsor children at Christmas, backpack buddies and help the Coulter Hampton Foundation and help with their day in the spring,” Johnson-Parker said of raising $1,200 last year.
“If we have a specific child benefiting from a group, like American Cancer Society, than we try and keep it directly towards children. It’s all about the children,” she added.
Johnson-Parker mentioned that last year the club built a tree house for Williams with part of the donations and funds from the tournament.
The 2009 tournament featured more than 8 school, business and corporate teams who battled for first place in shin-deep mud. The tournament will be played in three set matches that last no longer than 15 minutes each. Teams must win by two points, unless time has expired, allowing more teams to participate longer.
Food and drinks will be available at the tournament and will be provided by the Gordon County Young Farmers chapter. There will be a water slide for children and a dunking booth will be on site and already committed to sitting on the booth are Sheriff Mitch Ralston and the newest County commissioner Chad Steward.
Any other public figure and principals that would like to volunteer for a time slot on the dunking booth or wanting to signup as a team should contact Amy Johnson-Parker by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-548-8759.