Friday, July 23, 1999
Enter the Sandmen
Some of the top men's volleyballBy Cindy Luis
players in the state are coming together
to help out Hawaii's ailing children
It's a win-win situation. Some of the top men's beach doubles teams in Hawaii get a shot at some prize money while giving ailing children a shot at life-changing medical attention.
Tomorrow's second Players Championship benefits the Honolulu Shriners Hospital for Children because, "I just couldn't see raising money just to give players money," said Marc Haine, one of the event's organizers. "Last year, the idea came up to think of a good charitable cause.
"My inspiration came from Brant Ackerman, a guy I paddled with in 1983, the year we (Outrigger Canoe Club) won the Molokai Hoe. As a youngster, he was a patient at Shriners Hospital. He overcame some major physical obstacles to become a world championship steersman."
The tournament raised $1,000 last year for the hospital. Haine said the hope is to raise at least that much tomorrow while also giving $1,000 in prize money to the top three teams and sharing at least $1,000 in prizes among the 16 teams.
Who: Sixteen two-man beach doubles teams vying for $1,000 in prize money.
When: Tomorrow, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Queen's Beach, Waikiki
Defending champs: Troy Hotz-Guy Kaniho.
Entries were limited due to it being a one-day tournament. Next year, Haine hopes to move the event back to August - when it was played last season - as well as expand the men's field and add a women's division.
The top seed is expected to be the defending championship team of Troy Hotz and Guy Kaniho. Former University of Hawaii players Curt Vaughan and Jason Salmeri - both of whom have international playing experience - may team up, creating a formidable duo.
Former Rainbow Pono Ma'a and Jeff Southcott from California are also expected to challenge for the title.
Haine, who played at San Diego State (1978-82), said he will sit this one out because of an injury and to ensure a smooth-running event.
It's intended to be a feel-good one as well. The small entry fee of $10 per player barely covers tournament expenses; donations from businesses and individuals make it a grass-roots fund-raiser.
An example is Jay Whalen, a player and fireman, who donated time to fix the net poles. Glenna Wong donated her public relations services and Pepsi is providing refreshments for the players.
"It's pretty neat to see this happening," said Haine. "The players get something but they also know they are giving something back. When the money goes to a charitable function to help some kid walk or paddle some day, they feel good, too."