WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) — An annual volleyball tournament honors the life of a Springfield Army veteran while also raising money to help other veterans.
The annual event is held in honor of Adam Smith, whose nickname was Mouse.
“He kind of got it because he’s the younger brother to my husband Bruce. He’s a little bit smaller in stature in comparison to Bruce who’s a little bit bigger. And then also it was after Mighty Mouse, the character, because of how Adam carried himself,” explains Ashton Smith, Adam’s sister-in-law.
Those who knew him say Adam was the life of the party.
He served in the U.S. Army, completing two tours in Iraq as a sniper. In 2017, after suffering from PTSD, at age 32 he took his own life.
“After he passed, we wanted to do something to help other families who might be in a similar situation,” says Ashton.
That’s why they hold a volleyball tournament every year. It’s a chance to remember him playing the game that he loved while also raising money for other veterans.
“It makes me feel very proud because it’s in memory of him, yes, but it’s also going to such a good cause,” says Katie LaVelle, a co-organizer of the tournament and a close friend of Adam’s.
Money raised from the tournament will go to Sophie’s Companions for Veterans, helping veterans get the service dogs they need.
“There are so many veterans in this country that need our support and a service dog could really change someone’s life,” says Katie.
Since holding the tournament, it’s grown, setting a record in 2021 with $13,000 raised. Raising $7,000 last year, they hope to exceed that this year.
“I really just want to say a big thank you to Poncho, who was Adam’s best friend, and he’s been amazing this year. He actually joined our board because we made Mouse Memorial an official LLC, and he’s on the board, and he’s done an amazing job just really getting out there and helping us get sponsors,” states Katie.
This year’s sponsors include Modern Woodmen of America, Bone Dry Roofing, Don’s Pizza Palace, Rust-Oleum, Miami Valley Sand, Signs Now, Nickie Moreno Realtor, Kiser Insurance, AMVETS in Vandalia, Day Air Credit Union, American Legion Post 598, Cousin Vinny’s, Gardening Haven, Mile Two, Sprouse Container Leasing, Stella Blue, Death Grip Donuts, Get Active Home Medical and Mobility, Roy’s Automotive, King’s Table, Gem City Cycles, and Blue Star Mothers of America Miami Valley.
You can pre-register for the tournament or register the day of. It costs $30 per player. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Play begins at 10 a.m. You can also make a donation in Adam’s name.