For four years, Vivien Sanchez has led a volunteer crew of family, friends and community members in the design and implementation of the Annual Richie’s Beach Ball Blast in Corpus Christi, TX benefiting NDSS. This annual event is inspired by Richie Hughes, Vivien’s cousin, who lives in San Antonio, TX.
A last minute storm forced their beach volleyball tournament indoors, which then became a last minute indoor dodge ball tournament. The eleven volunteers for the event worked feverishly to make all of the changes and more than 100 participants joined in the fun. Everyone loved it!
Their total fundraising efforts for 2013 reached $1,250 adding to a total of $4,445 since 2010.
The goal of the tournament has remained the same since its inception: “to help raise money for the National Down Syndrome Society for acceptance and awareness and to strive for people living with Down syndrome and their families to have the resources and education they need.”
This event, which received the Tag Team Award from Best Buy in 2010, has truly made a difference for the Down syndrome community in Corpus Christi, Texas. Each year the organizers find that more and more people know about their event and talk openly with them about Down syndrome. Vivien said that she enjoys sharing the following Yvonne Pierre quote with the participants and sponsors of Richie’s Beach Ball Blast.
“When you focus on someone's disability you'll overlook their abilities, beauty and uniqueness. Once you learn to accept and love them for who they are, you subconsciously learn to love yourself unconditionally.”