Pyjama Ball volleyball tournament raises money for Children's Wish Foundation

Members of George Brown's women's volleyball team warm up for the Pyjama Ball tournament which raised over $500 for the Children's Wish Foundation. Photo: Thomas Chung/GBC Athletics

Members of George Brown’s women’s volleyball team warm up for the Pyjama Ball tournament which raised over $500 for the Children’s Wish Foundation. Photo: Thomas Chung/GBC Athletics

As you entered the Alex Barbier gymnasium on Monday, you were greeted by rowdy fans dressed in their pyjamas.

Monday night marked the beginning of a volleyball tournament from Jan. 29 that was postponed due to weather.

The men’s and women’s volleyball teams played the Loyalist Lancers, a team ranked directly under George Brown College (GBC).

This game wasn’t all about the volleyball. Donations are being collected on behalf of The Children’s Wish Foundation until the end of February to raise money for wishes placed by children who are facing a terminal illness. The wishes range from personal computers to trips to Disney World.

With 19,000 wishes already granted at about $10,000 per wish, the foundation accepts donations of any amount.

“Kids wear pyjamas and kids always have pyjama parties and we want to wear pyjamas,” said Janelle Emanuel, GBC Athletics’ marketing and sponsorship co-ordinator.

The crowd  dressed in robes and ninja turtle pants to support the event.

“Most of the money collected so far has mainly come from students and staff,” said Emanuel. “My minimum goal was $500 but I’m pretty sure we beat that.”

GBC Athletics posted on Facebook that $564 had been raised at the event.

The pyjamas came off the players exposing their Huskies uniforms as the women’s volleyball team stepped onto the court. The players had their game faces on as the first set began. The Huskies won all three sets and their excitement showed as they high-fived each other at the end of the match.

The men’s volleyball team started their matches against the Loyalist Lancers who are ranked fourth in the OCAA east division. Players on both teams warmed up in fleece pyjama pants and onesies.

There was barely anywhere to stand on the crowded bleachers thanks to the men’s basketball team who was there to cheer for their peers during a crucial tournament game.

Onlooker Michael Grasso commenting on why he came to support the team, said, “I remember when going to a volleyball game at George Brown when it consisted of cheap plastic chairs. Now they have a mascot, raucous crowd and even a touching event for Children’s Wish Foundation.”

The men’s volleyball team played a total of four sets, losing only the second with a final score of 3-1. The Huskies have a record of 12-5 with their final game against Seneca on Wednesday.

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Pyjama Ball volleyball tournament raises money for Children's Wish Foundation