We Serve First Foundation sponsoring 12 WPIAL players’ attendance at national volleyball camp

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 | 7:23 PM

The We Serve First Foundation sponsored three WPIAL players’ attendance at last summer’s Give It Back Foundation national girls volleyball camp in Anaheim, Calif. With the camp coming to Western Pennsylvania this summer, that number will quadruple.

We Serve First is providing 12 WPIAL girls volleyball players with the $300 admission fee for the Give It Back camp, which runs Aug. 9 and 10 at Moon High School and features instruction from current and former members of the U.S women’s volleyball team.

“The most important goal is to get these girls this amount of quality experience with clinicians that are going to be at this camp,” We Serve First co-founder Tim Toy said. “Like the three girls did last year, (they) can bring that back to their gym, the attitude and the mindset that these guys teach them and make volleyball even better here in Western Pennsylvania.”

Toy and wife Ellen founded We Serve First in late 2015 to provide volleyball opportunities to youth players. Ellen, the former coach at Kiski Area, Leechburg and Plum, died in February 2016 after a long battle with stomach cancer.

Last summer We Serve First provided the money for Plum’s Makayla Jackson, Leechburg’s McKenna Pierce, Kiski Area’s Cassie Shoupe and Plum coach Kelsey Bonk to attend the Give It Back camp.

This year’s list of sponsored entrants includes Hopewell’s Alexis Thompson, Kiski Area’s Lilliana Harding and Violeta Kenzevich, Knoch’s Hannah Rowe, Leechburg’s Falyn Verner, New Castle’s Aliya Blackshear, Northgate’s Mariah Benny, Norwin’s Abby Lichtenfels and Tori Nicholes, Obama Academy’s Samaree Perkins and Plum’s Julia Vargo. Toy is working to select a 12th player.

“It’s a very diverse group,” Toy said. “I’m happy about that because that gets the word out about what we’re doing.”

Toy said eight admissions already are paid for, and he set up a GoFundMe for the rest. Proceeds for the Give It Back camp will go toward building a school in Gulu, Uganda.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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