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'Larger than Life' Tournament to be Held in Hatfield

The annual volleyball tournament, in memory of local coach Glenn Szakal, will be held on Aug. 18.

The Larger than Life Memorial Fund will hold its 3rd Annual Volleyball Benefit on Aug. 18 at School Road Park at 9 a.m., and will feature a scholarship ceremony for a local North Penn High School graduate.

The benefit is one of several initiatives put on by the Larger than Life Fund to raise money for scholarships and community programs in the memory of Glenn Szakal, an Indian Crest Middle School volleyball coach who died suddenly in 2009.

“Glenn always put everybody first, and when he passed, it was like a big hole in all of our hearts, and we felt like we had to do something about it,” said Steve Szakal, Glenn’s cousin. “Our main goal is to keep giving back - we need to keep his giving going.”

Larger than Life, with partner East Coast Volleyball, will host more than 20 gender-blind foursomes of varying skill levels from throughout the tri-state area. The cost is $35 per person, and those interested in signing up can do so at the East Coast Volleyball or Larger than Life Fund website. Lunch and beverages will be served to all attendees.

“This is my favorite day, because it really sums up what Scott was all about,” Szakal said.

Halfway through the day-long tournament, the organization will present a $3,000 scholarship to Scott Dickenson, a recent North Penn High School graduate.

Dickenson played sports his entire life – soccer and volleyball in high school – until an ankle injury put him out of commission for his junior year and he was unable to be recruited by colleges.

“I ended up playing water polo, as my way of coping,” Dickenson said. “By the spring of my senior year I could play volleyball again, which was great.”

Dickenson will attend the University of Pittsburgh this fall to major in athletic training, with plans to possibly become a physical therapist. He has already committed to playing with the club volleyball team.

“Scott’s future goals are similar to our group’s goals,” said Szakal. “Talking with him helped the decision, too. He really is a great guy.”

Over the past three years, Larger than Life has distributed almost $10,000 in scholarships and local charitable donations that support children and teens. The group plans to become more involved with Youth Outdoor Expedition, a group that mentors children with wilderness trips.

For more information on the foundation, visit largerthanlifefund.org/largerthanlifefund.html.

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