When Angie Marks was in Oklahoma watching her son play hockey recently, she came across a poster for an all-nighter volleyball fundraiser.
“I thought, ‘wait a minute – this is a fabulous idea,’” said the executive director of both the Women’s Interval Home and Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre (SASC).
“It’s so fitting for a bunch of women to have a tournament and play all night and have some fun, and truly ‘take back the night.’
“So I said, ‘let’s do it.’”
Marks and her team decided to schedule the event following the annual Take Back the Night march in September, marking a weekend-long effort to raise awareness and support victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence.
“Lambton College has donated the gym for us, we have some amazing sponsors, and I am hearing a lot of positive talk,” said Marks, pointing to the Sept. 20 and 21 event, which features A, B, C and Recreational volleyball divisions vying for top honours between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
(C and Rec will be Friday night; A and B will be Saturday night) Food and coffee will be provided; cost is $225 per team.
“They’ll be playing through the night, and we’ll have a cozy area for teams to relax and nap if they want between games, with playoffs in the early morning,” said Marks, noting about four teams have signed up.
“I think if we can get 16 teams per night, that will be a very successful event for us to start out with.”
All proceeds go to the SASC, which provides services to some 300 clients each year, including both male and female survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence.
The weekend will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 19 with the annual Take Back the Night March beginning at the Peace Court at Christina and Lochiel streets. Guest speakers will precede the walk, which promotes safe streets and an end to gender-based violence.
For more about the Take Back the Night Volleyball Tournament, call 519-337-3154 or visit their Facebook page: Take Back the Night Women’s Volleyball Tournament 2019.