Volleyball tourney remembers local veteran, raises money for other veterans

Miami Valley News

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) — An annual volleyball tournament will be held this weekend to honor the memory of a Springfield veteran while also raising money to help other local heroes.

The 4th Annual Mouse Memorial Volleyball Tournament will be held Sunday, September 19 at Miami Valley Sand in West Carrollton in honor of Adam Smith, nicknamed “Mighty Mouse.”

Adam earned his nickname because of his small stature and big heart. He loved volleyball and played at Setter’s as well as in high school at Springfield Shawnee.

“He was really good. He loved to spike the ball,” says Ashton Smith, Adam’s sister-in-law and co-organizer for the tournament.

Adam was also a veteran. He served two tours in Iraq as a sniper for the U.S. Army.

“When he came back from his deployments he was there for all the weddings all the babies that were born,” describes Ashton.

But when he came back from overseas, Adam battled PTSD. In 2017 at age 32, he took his own life.

“He was really special,” says Katie LaVelle, a friend of Adam’s and the co-organizer for the tournament. “It was really hard to say goodbye.”

A year after his death, his family and friends started the Mouse Memorial Volleyball Tournament as a way to carry on his memory and play the game that he loved.

“He was all about having a good time, and this is exactly what our tournament is,” states Ashton.

The tournament is also a fundraiser to help other veterans. Money raised goes to Sophie’s Companions for Veterans, pairing former service members with rescue dogs.

“We’ve met some of the veterans that we’ve been able to help, and just knowing that we’re helping them that could be in a similar situation that Adam was in where they were suffering, it means the world,” says Katie.

The tournament has grown each year. Now in its fourth year, they’re hoping to raise about $8,000.

“You don’t have to play volleyball to come out. We have an amazing set of raffle prizes up for grabs,” says Katie.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and is $25 per person and includes a shirt. T-shirts for the event were designed by Maggie McCartney, a friend of Adam’s.

This year’s sponsors include Schuerholz Printing Inc., Modern Woodmen of America, Don’s Pizza Palace, Rudy’s Dairy Barn, Ritter’s Frozen Custard, Flying Ace Car Wash, Stella Blue Bistro, D&G Roofing and Restoration, Ali Industries Inc., ZDK Events, and Miami Valley Sand.

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