Charity volleyball game raises $2,721 for Mitchell’s Place

Published 3:32 pm Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thompson High School faculty members square off against the school's varsity volleyball squad during an Oct. 1 charity match. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Thompson High School faculty members square off against the school’s varsity volleyball squad during an Oct. 1 charity match. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Thompson High School’s varsity volleyball team narrowly swept the school’s faculty team in two games during an Oct. 1 charity match, but the scores were the least important numbers of the morning.

More important than the 26-24 and 25-17 scores in the two student victories, several hundred students packed the school’s gym to watch the student-faculty matches unfold. Each student in attendance paid $3 apiece to skip third period for the match, which was organized by THS teacher Michelle Holdbrooks and THS varsity basketball coach Patrick Davis.

“As a Thompson High School alumni, class of ’89, I knew you guys would pay the $3 to get out of third period,” Holdbrooks told the students. “All of that money, every penny, goes to Mitchell’s Place. You guys raised $2,721 for Mitchell’s Place.”

Mitchell’s Place, which is on Overton Road in Birmingham, provides therapeutic services for children, adolescents and families affected by autism.

During the event, the faculty team, which was composed of several of the school’s faculty and coaches, including Davis, gave the THS varsity team all it could handle. Although the staff members were perhaps a little more out of breath than their student counterparts after the match, they held their heads high knowing they put on a good performance while raising money for a worthy cause.

Between the two sets, the THS senior flash mob – A group composed of several theatre students and athletes – presented a surprise performance.

“I can’t thank you enough for your support today. I would have paid $3 to get out of class too,” Mitchell’s Place Executive Director Sandy Naramore said, drawing applause from those in attendance. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is just incredible.”

The student-faculty volleyball tournament was the second at the school after Holdbrooks and Davis organized the inaugural event in the fall of 2014. The two teachers also organized a student-faculty basketball game last spring to also raise money for Mitchell’s Place, and plan to continue the tradition this spring.

“Coach Davis has a child with autism, so Mitchell’s Place is very close to his heart,” Holdbrooks said.