Funding the travel of the Club Rim volleyball team to the Reno Volleyball Festival has been a town-wide effort.
The money needed, about $6,000, has come from donations from individuals and businesses, a hot dog sale, a raffle and work projects.
Club Rim coach and founder Donna Moore said the team could not have traveled to the tournament had the community not come together to help.
"Thank you to each individual who helped. They made the Reno Volleyball Festival a reality for our Payson girls," she said.
The team's volleyball adventure begins tomorrow, Saturday, when coaches Peggy Miles, Moore and team members fly out of Sky Harbor International Airport to Reno.
The festival tips off later that day with coaches and chaperone meetings, practices, a picnic and opening ceremonies in Mackay Stadium on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.
For the opening ceremonies, which Moore said "will be just like the Olympics," the girls will enter the stadium displaying a team banner made by Homer Sanders.
"They will have a banner contest, and I think we can win it," Moore said.
Also, during the opening ceremonies, recording artist Ryan Cabrera will perform.
"All the girls are excited about him being there," Moore said. "They keep asking me, ‘Will he really be there?'"
Tournament pool play by age group begins June 25 and continues through June 29 when division playoffs begin.
Games will be played on the campus of the University of Nevada and other sites in both Sparks and Reno.
The tournament, which is widely considered the pinnacle of club play, will draw over 6,000 teenage athletes from around the country.
"There will also be college scouts and coaches watching the players," she said.
Club Rim middle hitter Tori Wilbanks admitted she was excited about playing in front of the scouts and hopefully performing well enough to attract their attention.
"The exposure will be good for all of us on the team," she said.
Moore also expects the tournament to provide a format where young players can pick up plenty of playing experience against quality opponents.
"During the week, we'll probably play about 20 matches against some very good teams," she said.
The tournament will mark the end of Club Rim's inaugural season.
Throughout the regular campaign, which began in January, the girls have traveled to Phoenix to compete in weekend tournaments.
"It was a very successful (first) season," Moore said.
-- To reach Max Foster call 474-5251 ext. 114 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.