For the third consecutive year, Shelby Eliason, Wasatch Academy Girls’ Volleyball Coach, is spreading a little more holiday cheer by raising much-needed funds for Sanpete families battling illness, severe financial hardship, and hunger. However, this year, Eliason is presenting a new community challenge and increasing the competition level. Eliason has partnered with Dusty Heist-Levine in the Wasatch Academy Office of Philanthropy to host the first Tips for Santa Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, November 30.
This family-friendly event invites the community to get involved, have fun, and share in some good old small town volleyball rivalry. All donations, including team registration fees, go to support families in need. In addition, Wasatch Academy has partnered with Toys for Tots and is asking community members to bring a toy for children who would not otherwise receive any toys on Christmas. “I think it’s important for both sides of the party, the family in need and the members of the community. We all take a turn being the giver and the receiver sometime in our lives. We learn a lot from being in both situations. It’s so important for families in the community to feel the love of the people around them to help them get through tough times. It’s a humbling experience and gives you a little push to keep going, knowing that people care,” said Eliason.
Eliason finds joy in being a positive example for her children by giving selflessly. “I honestly think the giver gets the most out of it. Looking outside your bubble to see how you can make a difference in someone else’s life helps you forget about your own problems and appreciate all that you do have,” states Eliason.
For Eliason, this fundraising event is more than just bringing a little cheer to the season. Eliason says, “I have felt the financial burden during the holidays, not knowing how we were going to get through a regular month let alone with buying gifts for our family. One year, someone left a $100 bill in our mailbox with a note that said: “I know this time of year can be hard with a young family.” They left no name. They left the money and left me feeling extremely grateful that someone cared enough about our family to step in and help when we needed it. We felt loved and watched over. The best feeling ever! From then on, I always wanted to pay it forward. I’ve been the recipient and it’s my turn to help give.”
For Wasatch Academy, this event is an opportunity to demonstrate to the students what it means to stand behind one another. “Wasatch Academy is committed to instilling within our students the value of kindness, their responsibility to their fellow man, and a desire to be a positive impact in their communities. We are always looking for ways to engage students in opportunities to make the world a better place. There is no better way to give back than to the local community we love,” states Heist-Levine.
Currently, Eliason is hard at work putting together the tournament bracket. She is accepting team registrations now through November 27. The cost per team to compete in the Tips for Santa Tournament is $100 for six players (minimum). A team can have more players and sub out as desired, but six people must be on the court at all times. The tournament features four games per team, prizes for the winners, a breakfast option, and great entertainment. “I am excited to see everyone come out and witness what we can accomplish as a community.”
It is with hope that this event motivates others to find ways to do more. “I hope everyone can see a need and act on it. It doesn’t have to be financial support, because I know not everyone can offer that. Everyone can offer to be a friend. This too makes a positive impact in someone’s life,” said Eliason.
The general public is welcome to cheer on their favorite locals during the free event. The tournament will be held at Wasatch Academy’s Multipurpose Gym located at 220 South 200 West in Mount Pleasant. The tournament begins at 8:30 am with the option to enjoy breakfast from 8:00 am to 10:00 am. For those that are unable to attend but would like to show their support, please text WASATCHGIVES to 243725 to support the Tips for Santa fundraiser.
Date: Saturday, November 30, 2019, at 8:30 am
Location: Wasatch Academy’s Multipurpose Gym, 220 South 200 West, Mount Pleasant
Cost to attend: FREE
Cost per team: $100
Register a team to play email firstname.lastname@example.org
Breakfast is available from 8:00 am to 10:00 am for $5.00
Additional information available at facebook.com/WasatchAcademy