Getting down and dirty to help Epilepsy Foundation

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There will be more than a little mud slinging when nearly 3,000 players, 200 volunteers and over 75 referees converge on Beulah Park on July 21 for the 22nd Annual MUD Tournament benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio.

"They come for the mud and to support what we do," says Nancy Brantner, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio.

Brantner says that most people have no idea what it takes to get a tournament like this off the ground. From start to finish, the event requires a total of four weeks to set up, play the one-day tournament and tear it down. According to Brantner, that includes:

•Seven days to survey the site, excavate the ground to make it "court ready." This includes clearing rock and debris and making a level playing field.

•Five days just to fill all the 54 courts with water to make mud.

•Two 2,500-gallon water trucks used in 18-hour shifts to really stir things up – that comes out to over 650,000 gallons of water.

•A minimum of 10 volunteers per day for five days to clear the area, set the nets, and complete the hard labor that goes with making this tournament a success.

•Over 150 workers, volunteers and referees the day of the event just to make it happen.

The organization knows that all these elements add to their success. In fact, last year the event raised more than $90,000 for the programs and services provided to central Ohio through the Epilepsy Foundation.

While the tournament is in its 22nd year, the foundation itself has been serving central Ohio for 50 years.

"It’s a golden year for us," Brantner says. "We are so proud of what we are doing for the people in our community who have epilepsy. A successful tournament means we continue to provide the help they need."

Brantner says that more teams, volunteers and referees are welcome.

"We are so appreciative of everyone who sets aside this Saturday to play, ref or help in some way. It can’t be done without so many pitching in."

For those who have a desire to play, volunteer or referee, Brantner encourages them to sign up.

"If you’ve never played, volunteered or been a ref, don’t worry. We provide quick, on-the-job training and, you’ll have a blast!"

Volunteers and referees are still needed and receive complimentary meals and beverages, a MUD Volleyball T-shirt, and free parking.

For more information or to register to play, volunteer or referee, go to www.epilepsy-ohio.org and click on mud volleyball. For other questions, contact the foundation at 261-1100.

MUD Volleyball is presented by Beulah Park and Q-FM-96.

For 50 years, the Epilepsy Foundation of Central Ohio has been providing epilepsy awareness, education, programs and services free to the community.

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