Sometimes a story just kind of jumps up and grabs your heart.
Such was the case for local fitness trainer Kelly Salazar, who had two seperate clients come in during the last year who endured spinal cord injuries either directly or within their family.
In both cases, Shriners Hospitals for Children — a network of 22 nonprofit hospitals across North America the provides treatment regardless of the patients' ability to pay — played a role in the recovery.
“A lot of people don't know exactly what Shriners is,” Salazar said. “I'm 47 years old and I didn't know the magnitude of what they do until I heard about these children.
“Hearing their stories, it was heart-wrenching. I don't know exactly what it was, but it was something that really stuck with me.”
Salazar and her husband had been talking about hosting a barbecue and setting up some sand volleyball courts on their property.
“We just thought, if we were going to do it, we should do it for a cause,” Salazar said. “I wanted to help bring awareness to Shriners and also raise some money for it as well.
So they scheduled the Spike for Shriners Sand Volleyball Tournament for Saturday June 25 with a 9 a.m. check-in and 10 a.m. tournament start. It will be at 1509 Ortega Way, which is off of Lombardy Road (turn right off of Buckeye past East Valley Cemetery.
“It could be a one-day tournament, or go as long as two days, depending on how many teams we get,” Salazar said. “We'll have a DJ all day and hopefully into the night and a silent auction and raffle.”
Cost for registration is $30 per person (four-person teams). All players will receive a visor and dinner with their entry fee. Admission for spectators is $10, with dinner costing an additional $10.
Salazar said RV and tent sites were also available.
“Getting to know what these kids and their parents have gone through in their injuries, it has really touched me. Hopefully this will be a fun day where the kids can tell their stories and we can show our support for Shriners as a community.
“There will be representatives from Shriners in Sacramento, some nurses. We're hoping for some club teams to participate. It should be a lot of fun.”
To register for the tournament, visit www.energizestudios.com/volleyball.