Sixteen teams participated in the Rhonda Klug Memorial Volleyball Tournament held Sunday afternoon at Vets Park. It was only one of the activities planned for that day for the final day of the second June Jaunt festival in Great Bend that got residents out and about enjoying the attractions the city has to offer.
“The activities at the park drew tons of people to Vets Park Sunday, and the volleyball tournament brought in several teams,” said Christina Hayes, Great Bend Community Director.
The tournament began at 11 a.m. at the sand volleyball courts, and continued until 8 p.m. that evening. Teams included adults and high school students that play both recreational and competitive league volleyball in the area. The bracket champions were the Sand Dollars, captained by John Bingesser.
Rhonda’s Rebels took the second place position, captained by Kelsie Ruble. She is the daughter of Rhonda Klug, and was joined by several family members and her father, Tom Klug. Family friends Steve and Joanne Wondra organized the event, and Steve and other team representatives refed throughout the day. Volunteers helped put together and manage the bracket.
Klug, 49, was influential in promoting volleyball in the area through competitive and rec leagues. She died in April after a battle with cancer. She was also a Great Bend High School volleyball coach and Volleytech coach.
“She was a good friend and she loved volleyball,” Wondra said. “We thought this would be a neat thing to do in honor of her.”
Proceeds from participants entry fees and thousands of dollars raised through local sponsorships will benefit the Heartland Cancer Center. Totals were not available at the time this story went to press, but will be announced soon, Wondra said.
Inflatables provided by Waters True Value hardware close by helped lend a family fun atmosphere to the event. The games attracted around 150 spectators at any time, Wondra said. He was pleased with the help received from the city with preparation of the courts, making a sound system available, and all the help received in promoting the event. Feedback indicated great interest in repeating the event in the future.
“It was a great day, with great participation,” Wondra said.