Volleyball Long Island (VBLI), a Long Island-based recreational volleyball organization for teenagers and adults, is happy to announce the first annual Grass Volleyball Pride Festival, a.k.a “PrideFest,” which will take place on June 11 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, N.Y., weather permitting.
Originally scheduled to take place in June of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed PrideFest twice.
Volleyball enthusiasts, the LGBTQ+ community and its allies are all invited to compete in the all-day charity tournament featuring Men’s, Women’s and Coed Doubles, plus Gender Neutral Quads, offered in a variety of skill and abilities levels.
Additionally, $50 from each doubles team and $100 from each quads team’s registration fees will be donated to PFY (formerly Pride for Youth), a division of the Long Island Crisis Center, whose mission is to enhance the health and wellness of the LGBTQ community through education, supportive services and personal development in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties.
“PrideFest has been a long-time coming and reflects the Volleyball community’s altruism and diversity, especially in regards to sexuality and gender,” said Glenn Yankow, VBLI’s Founder and Managing Director. “Collaborating with PFY has been a pleasure and we’re as inspired as ever to create a fun, memorable tournament, one to keep improving upon for years to come.”
On-site vendors will be announced at a later date and will enhance the patron experience and donate additional proceeds. The goal is to host more than 200 volleyball players from Long Island and the surrounding areas, raising over $5,000 for PFY.
“We’re deeply grateful to VBLI for including us in this unique event held during Pride Month,” said Devon Zappasodi, Director of PFY. “There is a lot of work to be done in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the area of athletics, but PrideFest is a nice indication of the progress that has been made.”
Registration for PrideFest is open now. For more information, go to www.vbli.com.
— Jerry Del Priore