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Volleyball fundraiser: Its name really is MUDD

July 18, 2010|By MARIE GILBERT
  • Teams Down and Dirty at far side and Muddy Magestic at near side play mud volleyball Saturday to benefit the Community Free Clinic.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

There was sun, music and water -- but it wasn't exactly a day at the beach.

It was more like Club Mud.

How else could you describe 750 people having a great time while slipping and flopping in a cloudy quagmire of gunk?

It was the 2010 MUDD Volleyball Tournament, benefiting the Community Free Clinic of Washington County.

Games were played Saturday behind Citi's day care center near Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The tournament, now in its 11th year, featured 60 teams, said Robin Roberson, the clinic's executive director.

"It has become so successful, for the first time, we had to turn teams away," she said.

Roberson said the tournament is the clinic's largest fundraiser. Last year, the event raised $39,000 -- an amount organizers were hoping to surpass Saturday.

Money will go directly to patient care and will help cover medical, prescription and lab services to uninsured and underinsured residents in Washington County, Roberson said.

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"With the current economy, this fundraiser means a great deal to the clinic," she said.

In addition to participants, Roberson said the event draws a large crowd of spectators and volunteers.

"We probably have more than 1,000 people here today," she said. "It's for a good cause, but it's also a fun day. People really look forward to this event. We have some teams here who have played every single tournament. We have a very strong following."

Roberson said the teams played on 10 pits dug out by employees of Callas Contractors.

"We couldn't do this without them," she said. "Callas plays a very vital role in this tournament being a success."

Roberson said there is a lot of spirit among the participating teams, who design their own shirts and come up with clever team names.

This year, a team spirit competition was held, with prizes awarded to teams with the most creative uniforms, headgear and equipment.

The tournament team champion, as well as the runner-up, received trophies, she said.

Prizes also were given for teams and players who raised the most money.

Carrie Yeakle of Clear Spring was among the tournament players, joining fellow Clear Spring High School alumni in one of the muddy pits.

"You get really dirty, but it's a blast," she said.

Yeakle said this was the first year she had played in the tournament.

"My friends talked me into it," she said.

"That's what Facebook does. But actually, I'm glad I'm here today. It's for a very good cause."

Tori Wendle traveled from Harrisburg, Pa., to play in the tournament with friends from Greencastle, Pa., who formed Team Rusty Trombone.

"My friend's husband is sponsoring the team," she said. "So when they asked me back in March if I would like to play, I immediately said 'yes.'"

Wendle said this is the first time she has played mud volleyball, but it won't be the last.

"This is so much fun. I would absolutely do it again," she said. "Plus, we're winning, which makes it even more fun."

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