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20130608 Mud Volleyball Tourney lg-06 featureThe Mission Lions Club held its First Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament Saturday, June 8 in Alton. With hundreds of players falling, jumping and diving into the slippery, sloppy mud throughout the day, there were plenty of smiles and laughs from participants and spectators alike as over 40 teams of six to 10 players each took to the mud and competed in the first event of its kind ever held in the Rio Grande Valley.

The double elimination tournament was the brainchild of Mission Lions Club member and director Rosie Sterling who saw the potential of holding such an event as a fundraiser. Sterling proposed the idea to the club’s board of directors and nine months later she saw her dream become a reality as the City of Alton’s Industrial Park was transformed into an outdoor volleyball venue complete with eight mud pits, bleachers, a stage, a beer garden, a hospitality tent, sponsors’ tents, vendors’ tents, plenty of free parking and much more.

Soon after the completion of the event, Sterling could hardly contain her enthusiasm when asked to describe how the day and the event had gone.

“It was just fun,” exclaimed Sterling. “The turnout was awesome! Given the number of participants and spectators in attendance and the unbelievable response we have had on our social media site since, I am overjoyed to announce that our First Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament was a huge success. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and everybody I’ve spoken to has told me that they had a great time!”

CLICK HERE for a full gallery of photos from the event.

As a fundraiser, the tournament was a financial success for the Mission Lions Club as well.

“All the numbers are not in yet but it’s looking like we’re going to clear between $5,000 and $6,000 dollars on this tournament,” explained Sterling. “For a first year event that is awesome! We had some expenses, such as the purchasing of the tents, which we won’t have in the years to come so that will help make our future tournaments more profitable. The thing to keep in mind though is that all our vendors were non-profit organizations so they were all able to raise money for their causes as well, all at no charge to them.”

20130608 Mud Volleyball Tourney lg-18With the Mission Lions Club being an all-volunteer organization, all of the proceeds derived from the tournament will be going toward some of the many charitable organizations the club supports. These include the Lions Eye Bank of Texas, Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Texas Lions Camp for Handicapped Children, PET Project RGV, Mission Food Pantry, Comfort House and others.

As for why a Mission Lions Club event was held in Alton, Sterling explained that it had everything to do with the eagerness of Alton city officials to host the event, especially Alton City Manager Jorge Arcaute.

“When I first heard about the event it piqued my interest because it was different,” explained Arcaute. “What I really liked about it was the fact that it was the kind of event that would make us stretch a little bit in terms of personnel. We’re a small city that is kind of growing into these big city responsibilities so whenever this kind of request is made it’s like a challenge and part of that challenge is everybody doing their part to make it happen.”

According to Sterling, the City of Alton, its city commissioners, its Public Works Department, its Fire And Police Departments and Mayor Salvador Vela played a huge part in the success of the event with their willingness to do whatever she asked of them and oftentimes more. Sterling also expressed sincere gratitude to the event’s sponsors.

As for the tournament results, the Fluffy Kittens team, sponsored by the Edward Jones Office of Matthew T. Mierzycki, emerged as overall champions. And in the inter-city challenge match, the Mission Fire Department team, sponsored by the Progress Times, defeated the Mission Police Department, sponsored by Mission Rotary.

Sterling is already making plans for the Mission Lions Club’s Second Annual Mud Volleyball Tournament which is tentatively scheduled to be held in May of 2014. For more information on this event call Rosie Sterling at 956-369-5775 or e-mail her at

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