Saturday, July 14, 2018

HOPE Volleyball: 36 Years of Helping Charities and Providing Summer Fun in Ottawa

HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) Volleyball SummerFest turned 36 this year and brought together over 25,000 volleyball and music enthusiasts to Mooney's Bay Beach on Saturday, July 14 to help raise money for 6 local charities including the Dementia Society of Ottawa, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and the Children's Aid Foundation of Ottawa. Cassie Stringer, 26, has been playing at HOPE with her team Sets on the Beach for seven or eight years now. "I started (playing) because it's a fun way to bring friends together to have some fun and compete all for a good cause," she said. "The neat vendors and drinks especially those cool fruit ones are what made this year different," she added. She was referring to my chilled drink in a cored pineapple complete with a fancy straw and little umbrella. HOPE has grown into the World's Largest One Day Volleyball Tournament. It was the brainchild of Fred Logan and his friends (Terry Fox was their inspiration) as part of a group of events solely focused on giving back to the Ottawa community. Since its inception, it has donated more than $3.5 million to over 110 charities. This year Big Rig Brewery was HOPE's main sponsor and debuted its new cider. Radio stations Hot 89.9 FM and Live 88.5 FM were the media sponsors with Live 88.5's DJ Noah and Re-Generation X host Chelsea Miller got the crowd riled up before the headliners Cold War Kids took the stage. The concerts followed the last volleyball game (each team played 5 games over the course of the day) finishing at 3:45 p.m. with acts such as Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs and BC's Yukon Blonde playing before California's Cold War Kids with their energetic (and sexy!) front man Nathan Willett rocked the revellers with old hits like "First" and new ones like "Love is Mystical." It was my first HOPE (as a spectator), and it won't be my last. Maybe I'll be a participant next year!