Benefit volleyball tourmament held for Pa. man

January 09, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Until last March, Rusty Dozer played on his team when it competed in area volleyball competitions. On Saturday he sat on the sidelines keeping score in one of the biggest games of his life.

Saturday's tournament, held at the Waynesboro YMCA, brought in 18 teams from Franklin, Washington and Frederick counties and from as far away as New Martinsville, W.Va., on the Ohio River.

The teams were playing for Dozer, 25, of Waynesboro. He was diagnosed with leukemia in March and has been fighting for his life ever since, all the while running up gargantuan medical bills.

His prognosis is hopeful since a bone marrow transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in September, said his wife, Debbie.

"So far things look really good, if the first four months are any indication," she said. "We'll know more in six months."


The transplant cost $275,000, she said. The couple also needs money for living expenses in Baltimore for four months during Dozer's treatment.

"We were told not to be more than 10 minutes away from the hospital," she said.

The Dozers grew up in West Virginia. Debbie is from Beckley, and her husband is from New Martinsville. They met at West Virginia Tech.

Dozer's friends in New Martinsville held a benefit volleyball tournament there in August and raised more than $1,600.

The amount raised Saturday was not available. Each team paid $60 to pay plus individuals contributed. One couple donated $1,000, Debbie Dozer said.

The food concessions and tournament prizes also were donated.

Dozer said he was surprised and heartened by the number of teams and players who turned out Saturday. He said he knows about 70 percent of the players.

"I didn't expect this many teams," Dozer said. "I figured maybe eight or 10. I'm really surprised. It makes you feel good to know that there are so many people out there willing to help."

"It's great, considering Rusty's only lived here for two years," Debbie said.

The first teams started playing at 2 p.m. with the games expected to run through 11 p.m., said Arnold Enfusse of Waynesboro, one of the tournament's organizers.

"Fliers were sent to all volleyball teams in the two states," he said.

Dozer is an engineer at HMW Enterprises in Waynesboro. Debbie Dozer works for Valley Quarries in Chambersburg, Pa.

The couple had planned to be married last October but moved the date up to May after Dozer's diagnosis.

The Herald-Mail Articles