Charity beach volleyball event raises $5K

Posted on 29 March 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Ben Koos couldn’t have been happier with the recent charity beach volleyball Pro/Am Tournament on Deerfield Beach.

The Embrace Life Children’s Foundation teamed up with Dig the Beach Volleyball and raised more than $5,000 to go towards helping children in the community and those proceeds went directly to helping the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital at Broward Health.

The event was a good start to hopefully an annual event,” said Koos, the tournament organizer. “We had over 100 players come out between Saturday and Sunday, which made for great viewing for the fans and a great time for the players.”

The inaugural event featured two days of competition, including Men’s/Women’s Doubles for both professional and amateur players, while Sunday included Junior Boys/Girls 12-18 and Co-Ed Doubles.

Several community sponsors joined in, including Jersey Mike’s Subs and Harmless Harvest Coconut Water, who fed and hydrated the players. Other local businesses supporting the event included Rox Volleyball as a Title Sponsor, Pediatrix, Island Water Sports, Hypower Electric and International Union of Police Associations.

Koos’ wife, Carolyne, who helps run the charity, also deemed the event a success.

We ended up with 100 players, which wasn’t bad for the first time,” she said. “With the funding we received, we have been able to outfit the NICU and Pediatric Unit with some much-needed items on their wish list and also pay for transportation for the sickle cell pediatric patients to Camp Boggy Creek, so those patients can forget their medical issues and just have fun for a bit.

We just had a Spring Fling visit filled with bunnies, chicks, and spring goodie bags and toys for all of the pediatric patients from oncology, peds floor, to PICU and NICU,” she continued. “It is a joy and a blessing to help these families with whatever they need from help with medical bills to fun group outings with patients to shows, or tickets to events, funding for medical research, or day-to-day needs, like clothes, or computers.”

Carolyne Koos said the organization does what they can to try and improve the lifestyle. She and her husband started the non-profit charity organization after their 2-year old son, Christian, passed away recently after a long battle with a rare neurological disease. His genetic disease, known as Leukodystrophy, can affect anyone from a newborn baby to an elderly person.

Whatever makes their life a little easier while they work on getting better, we are happy to do,” said Carolyne, who would bring gifts to the Broward General Medical Center and Miami Children’s Hospital during her son’s stays “just to see a smile on a child’s face.”

Carolyne speaks with the child life advocates at each hospital to find out the needs of the children and to find out how they can help.

As always,” she continued, “being 100 percent volunteer driven with no administration costs or salaries, you can tell our heart is in what we do. It truly is a beautiful gift to be able to work with and help these families…I have to say from my point of view all the players, organizers, promoters and supporters were nothing short of a huge blessing to me and the families.”

For more information, visit www.embracelifechildrensfoundation.com.

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