Participants in the 2011 MUDD Volleyball Tournament make a splash for charity
Completely covered in mud Dan Cooke returns the ball to grab his team the point at the 2011 MUDD Volleyball Tournament held on Saturday. (By Yvette May/Staff Photographer)
It was the 2011 MUDD Volleyball Tournament, benefiting the Community Free Clinic of Washington County.
And in this event, participants were encouraged to play dirty.
About 700 people splashed, belly-flopped and sometimes got stuck in 6 inches of slimy water — all for a good cause.
The day-long tournament was expected to raise more than $40,000, said Robin Roberson, the clinic's executive director.
The money will go directly to patient care and will help cover medical, prescription and lab services to the uninsured and underinsured in Washington County.
The event, held behind Citi's Family Center, is the clinic's biggest fundraiser, Roberson said.
Participants included nonprofits, businesses and individual teams.
"This yea, we have teams from Owings Mills, Md. to Cumberland," Roberson said. "It's really exciting to see the growth outside of this area. It's also exciting to see so many people who are supportive of the work we do."
According to Brad Kohler, onsite tournament day director, this year's fundraiser featured 58 teams and two brackets. Three courts featured a competitive bracket, while seven courts were recreational. Winners from each division received plaques.
"To help keep it fun," Kohler said a costume contest was held for the second year, with prizes going to those with the most unique uniforms or headgear.
In addition to players, Kohler said there were about 60 volunteers and several hundred visitors.
"This is my sixth year doing this, and every year there seems to be a growing number of people who just show up to watch," he said. "That really helps make it a true community event."
Mia Woods of Hagerstown was among those who sat on the sidelines as an observer. Woods said she had planned on participating in the tournament, but broke her wrist recently and had to drop out.
Her friends, however, helped her feel like part of the day.
"They smeared me in mud — so I guess I'm a team member, but on the disabled list," she joked.
Among the tournament players was Teresa Stottlemyer, who was a member of the team Git Down Wit Da Brown.
"I work at Citi and do this every single year," she said. "It's the best event. I wouldn't miss it."
Covered in mud, Stottlemyer said she didn't mind getting dirty.
"That happens when you're always diving for the ball. But it's all about fun. And it's for a very good cause," she said. "I now live in Pennsylvania, but I used to live in Hagerstown. So I know the important work the Community Free Clinic does in Washington County."