It may have looked like a wet T-shirt or mud-wrestling contest, but it wasn't.
It was the 19th annual Polly Hylant-Tracy Volleyball Tournament. Slipping and sliding in the sand and mud made for a fun family day in the rain Aug, 21 at International Park. It has never rained during the tournament in all these years, so the wet weather was a new experience.
The crowd was soaked all day, whether playing in the tourney or serving beers and margaritas from the recipe of the late Dick Schoen, husband of Jeanne Hylant Schoen, Polly's mom.
There in support were family members including Geof Tracy, Polly's husband, and many of her siblings, including Sandra, Jeannie, Michael, Richard, Stephen, Pat, and Dan, along with their mom, Mrs. Schoen.
Polly Hylant-Tracy lost her battle with breast cancer 20 years ago, leaving her husband, three daughters, and eight siblings. Sandra and Dan Hylant said since the tournament's inception, about $900,000 has been donated to programs supporting women and breast health.
Colorful amid the raindrops were the sea of Pollyball T-shirts in multipastels of yellow, orange, blue, violet, pink and more, which displayed the names of the numerous event sponsors.
Light summertime tunes by Phil Barone filled the air while the tournament continued. Children were entertained with temporary tattoos, face painting, and inflatables, but the real fun for little ones and big kids too were puddles for slip-and-slide fun in the mud.
There was some great volleyball all day long by the 48 teams. Ty Szumigala, tourney director, was busy keeping the scores and doing the spreadsheets. Meanwhile Joey Apgar, event coordinator, ran the rest of the show.
Assisting with the day was the committee — Sandra Hylant, Dan Hylant, Susie Poll, Winda Birt, director of Encore Plus, and Lisa McDuffie, executive director of the YWCA. The YWCA Encore Plus breast cancer support program was the beneficiary.
Next year, the 20th anniversary, will be a big event for sure, said Jeannie Hylant. They are expecting to net around $65,000 this year, and hope to make $100,000 next year in honor of the big celebration.