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YMCA wants dozens for anniversary volleyball Saturday

As part of the YMCA in Greenfield’s yearlong celebration of 125 years in Franklin County, it is looking for 32 or more players who want to be part of the two 125-point volleyball games being played on Saturday starting at 6 p.m.

Bob Sunderland, YMCA executive director, said “Starting in 1889, staff and volunteers from the Boston YMCA trained local volunteers to conduct YMCA programs in Franklin County. The Y rented or used local facilities for sports, educational events and club meetings. The parish hall in the Second Congregational Church was a gym in those days, the fairground was used for track and field events, local schools provided space for teen clubs and adult activities and local river banks for summer camps. For 50 years most Y programs in Franklin County were conducted by volunteers. In 1939, the Community YMCA of Greenfield received its Y-USA charter and in 1943 moved to the carriage house next to the Washburn Mansion at 451 Main St. ... our present location. Over the past 70 years the original buildings were torn down and five additions were built creating the full facility YMCA we have today.”

Dave Garappolo, YMCA youth and family director, said “Volleyball was invented by William Morgan, a student from Springfield College in the 1890s. The first game was played at the Holyoke YMCA. YMCA World Service volunteers took the game around the world. Soldiers during WWI played the game and then brought it back to their home towns in the USA and around the world and now it is one of the most popular games played in gyms and beaches everywhere.”

At least 32 to 40 people who would like to be a part of this celebratory game are needed. There is a participation fee of $1.25 for Y members and $5 for nonmembers to help cover the light refreshments that will be served.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Players must be at least 16 years old.

Sunderland added “Every month in 2014 we will be having at least one ‘125th’ activity people should watch for, including an aquatic event, a basketball shootout, a Camp Apex reunion on July 12 and a board/committee/staff dinner reunion in October/November.”

For more information about the Y, go to ymcaingreenfield.org or stop by at 451 Main St.

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