By Lisa Capobianco
What started out as a hobby for Southington residents Stephanie Johnson, Shane Quadrato, and Dan Carbone turned into an annual event that reaches out to a variety of charities.
Shane and Dan were on the boys volleyball team at Southington High School. When they entered college, Shane, Dan, and Stephanie gathered together with a group of friends every summer to continue playing the sport for fun. Three summers ago, the trio decided to organize a beach volleyball tournament at Casey Field in Bristol. The teams that come to the event register for a fee, and the winning team earns half the money raised during the event. The three friends then donate the rest of the money to a different charity each year.
This year half of the money raised will be donated to the Nicole and Anthony Memorial Fund in honor of a friend’s mother who passed away unexpectedly. The three friends said they are happy to turn their passion into a good cause.
“We figured that would be a great way to help out [our friend] and her family,” Stephanie said.
Last year, the trio raised $200 for the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign when Stephanie worked with children at the Southington YMCA summer camp. She wanted to make a difference for children who could not afford summer camp. Two years ago, they raised $100 for the American Cancer Society because they know firsthand how cancer affects every family.
“All of us have had relatives [with] cancer,” Dan said.
Last year, the tournament had 17 teams, and this year the trio hopes more communities will flock to the event—whether they are volleyball veterans or not.
“We hope that it grows every year,” Dan and Shane said. “We just…want it to bring people together,” Stephanie said.
The fourth annual beach volleyball tournament will take place 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 11 at Casey Field in Bristol.