NEWARK – Sixteen mixed sand volleyball teams will compete Saturday at The Yard at Newark Stationbut the winner of the tournament has already been decided.
Proceeds from the Dig It For the House event will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, which provided 9,202 nights of rest to 717 Licking County families over a 10-year period.
Last year, the tournament raised $10,000, which provides 100 family nights at Ronald McDonald House. This year’s event has raised $15,000 so far.
The tournament begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Newark Station, 325 W. Main St. Live music begins at 6:30 p.m. There will also be music, a craft show with 10 vendors, a cornhole, raffles, games and food/drink specials.
Todd Alexander, chairman of owner A4 Ragtime Band Development and Seth Stout’s partner on the Newark Station development, is the former chairman of the board of directors at Central Ohio’s Ronald McDonald House and has served the organization charity for over 20 years.
“I have incredible passion for what The House is doing to support families with sick children in central Ohio hospitals,” Alexander said. “I don’t talk to too many people who don’t have a personal story of how House here or elsewhere has touched their lives in a way that impacts them for life.”
Teams paid $100 to participate in the volleyball tournament. After the tournament, the Nacho Street Band, made up of National Children’s Hospital employees, will perform live in the new pavilion.
David McCreary, magician, comedian and co-host of the Ohio Lottery’s Cash Explosion TV show, will be the evening’s emcee.
Ronald McDonald House is in the midst of a $41 million fundraising campaign to pay for the House’s 80-room expansion, which would make it the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. The organization serves 4,500 families a year.
Dee Anders, executive director of Ronald McDonald House, said the fundraising campaign originally aimed to raise $37 million, but COVID and inflation combined to push the goal to $41 million.
“We’re going to get there,” Anders said of the new goal. “We are very excited about the event and can’t wait to be back in Newark. It will be a great family event with music, craft vendors, magic and of course volleyball. .”
The Ronald McDonald House has saved families of critically ill children in Licking County $920,000 over the past decade.
“We hope we continue to have it (in Newark) and continue to grow,” Anders said of the fundraiser. “Licking County is one of the top five counties we serve, so it’s cool to be in that area and see families in their surroundings rather than at home.”
The average length of stay is eight nights, but some families have stayed at RMHC for over 250 nights. For many families, the Ronald McDonald House is the only thing keeping them solvent, Alexander said.
The Newark Station Worksite will host several charity events this summer, including a firefighter and police officer appreciation night on June 24, thanking them for their assistance during the Easter Sunday morning fire at Newark Station. .
West Main Street remains closed just east of Newark Station due to the unstable condition of the burnt building near the street. Those planning to attend Saturday’s event should come from the west and bypass the West Main and 11th Street barricade, entering Newark Station through the West Main Street gate.
How to support Ronald McDonald House
Those unable to attend the volleyball tournament on Saturday can still support the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio by donating online at https://rmhc-centralohio.org/newark/ or by sending a donation at :
RMHC Central Ohio
Attn: Dig it for the Newark house
711 E. Livingston Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43205