Senior project can be one of the most stressful aspects of a high school student’s final year, but Mount Airy’s Abby Harold is making the most of this final requirement.
Harold, a middle hitter on the Lady Bears’ volleyball team, wanted her senior project to be more than just a class assignment. She also knew she wanted to find a way to help in the fight against the disease that took away her grandfather’s life, cancer.
What she came up with is the event Volley for a Cure, the first outdoor volleyball tournament for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. The event will take place on Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. on the Bears’ practice football fields behind the baseball field.
“I wanted to do something that really meant something to me,” Harold said. “It’s my senior project, but this is an event I want to become an annual thing.”
Volley for a Cure will be in honor of her grandfather, Bobby Harold, who passed away from leukemia two years ago.
However, Abby’s grandfather isn’t the only person in her life who had to deal with cancer. Abby’s volleyball coach at Mount Airy, Chuck Morris, is battling prostate cancer.
“He (Morris) is very appreciative,” Harold said. “Because of my grandfather, and now my coach fighting, it all just makes this very special to me. It makes Coach Morris and me very passionate about this.”
Coach Morris is helping Harold work out the logistics of this operation. He’s providing all of the equipment and finding quality officiating for the event. Aside from an entry fee, all that is required from participants is that they bring their own balls.
There will be eight divisions for the 3-on-3 style tournament. Volley for a Cure will feature both competitive and recreational tournaments for men and women, while also providing tournaments for under-18, under-16, under-14, and under-12 years age groups.
Harold believes that with the initial feedback and interest, this could become a large event.
“People are really excited, and a lot of people are responding,” Harold said. “We haven’t had many people start registering yet, but I think it’s a little far out for that just yet.”
Harold believes a lot of the interest stems from the tournament being held outdoors. She believes that this will be the first organized outdoor volleyball tournament in the city.
“I wanted to make it outdoors because it’s going to be something different, and that’s going to get a lot of kids to come out,” Harold said.
With all of her ties to the fight against cancer and volleyball, Volley for a Cure seems like the ideal senior project for Harold.
On top of those circumstances, there is another reason the senior believes this project is going to be the perfect start to her final year at Mount Airy.
“After the tournament, I’ll have a final presentation down the road, but that’s pretty much it,” Harold said. “I’ve got a really tough class load this year so I can hopefully go to Wake Forest, and this will be done early enough in the semester to let me focus on that.”
Registration is now open at volleyforacure.weebly.com, and each participant can sign up for $25. Registration closes on Sept. 1, but late registration will take place an hour before the event.