Volley for Mitchell raises $50,000

Tournament gets $5,000 boost from AT&T

Mitchell Peterson (front) holds the AT&T donation check of $5,000. He is surrounded by (l–r) Pete MacGregor, Mimi Wyatt, Kristen Hartnagel, Bill Jackson, David Conner, and Ruth Gaudard of AT&T.

The Volley for Mitchell 4-on-4 Charity Volleyball Tournament kicks off its sixth year August 11 thanks to event underwriter AT&T.

Volley for Mitchell has raised more than $50,000 to fund research in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Today, returning event sponsor AT&T presented $5,000 during a short ceremony at the Score Restaurant, the unofficial home of Volley for Mitchell. Ruth Gauddard of AT&T presented the Mitchell family with a $5,000 check for this year’s charity volleyball tournament.

“The Volley for Mitchell tournament is a great event in support of a very important cause, battling Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “It is a wonderful example of the kind of community involvement that really works to make a difference in Michigan and for kids in our state, and we at AT&T are proud to be able to be a part of it.”

“When we packed up the nets after last year’s tournament, Volley for Mitchell had brought in a little over $45,000 in our first five years,” said Jeff Hartnagel, tournament co-director. “AT&T’s continued commitment and generous gift raises that number to more than $50,000, and the first serve hasn’t even been hit.”

In the years since friends Jeff Hartnagel, Peter MacGregor and Bill Jackson sat around a bonfire in Hartnagel’s backyard, Volley for Mitchell has become a late summer West Michigan tradition. This year, the tournament expects to host more than 40 teams from all over the area.

All proceeds from Volley for Mitchell go to Parent Project MD in its ongoing search to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is the most devastating of the dystrophies diagnosed during childhood. To date, there is no cure.

The 2012 Volley for Mitchell tournament is once again headquartered at the Score Restaurant & Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Drive NE, Grand Rapids, which has donated the use of its courts since 2008. To accommodate the large numbers of anticipated participants, play will also take place on the sand volleyball fields located at North Rockford Middle School, courtesy of Rockford Public Schools.

“The Score has been a great supporter over the years,” said co-director Peter MacGregor. “Being able to hold the tournament at such a setting is definitely a big reason for our continued success.”

In conjunction with Mitchell’s Run, Volley for Mitchell was established in 2007 as a way to give those members of the community, who may not be runners, the opportunity to show their support and have a good time doing it, all while raising money for Parent Project.

Celebrating its 14th anniversary, Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford has grown into one of the Midwest’s premier 5k runs. All proceeds from the run and the volleyball tournament go to benefit Parent Project. For those interested in participating in the August 20 run, information can be found at www.mitchellsrun.org.

Mitchell Peterson is a 15-year-old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and is a member of the Rockford community. He is an inspiration to everyone who knows him, and he loves to share his passions and smile. Those whose lives he’s touched are eager to help in any way they can and support research for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

For details and an entry form for Volley for Mitchell, contact MacGregor at (616) 866-3364 or clmacgregor@aol.com or visit www.volleyformitchell.org.

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