To honor a friend’s memory while raising funds for scholarships, the Ping Pong Club at Gardner Edgerton High School will host a table-tennis tournament on Saturday, March 3.
Officially dubbed the “First Ever Blazer Pong Squad Ping Pong Extravaganza,” the event is a benefit for the Andrew K. Hurd Memorial Scholarship Fund. Hurd, an original member of the Blazer Pong Squad when it began three years ago, died in a car accident on Aug. 23, 2010. He would have been a senior at GEHS this year.
GEHS Senior Hayden Cain came up with the idea for the tournament after participating in a student-organized memorial soccer game on the first anniversary of Hurd’s death.
“I thought a ping pong tournament that everyone could get involved in would be a fun way to remember Andrew,” Cain said. “(Hurd) was one heck of a nice guy, and I hope everyone can come out and show their support of him and his family.”
The Blazer Pong Squad’s regular Friday meetings generally draw about half of its 60 members—a good turnout considering the meetings are at 7 a.m. But this is the first time since its inception in 2009 that the club has ever attempted anything like a benefit tournament.
“This is a really big deal for us,” said Derrick Abromeit, a GEHS social studies teacher who also serves as a faculty sponsor for the Ping Pong club.
“It is going to be a great time and a really cool environment to be in,” Cain added. “Even if you don’t want to play, come out and check out the matches. The competition is going to be fierce.”
The double-elimination tournament, which will take place in GEHS’s main gym is open to table tennis players of all ages and abilities. Tournament play will include doubles and singles brackets for both competitive and recreational skill levels. Players may participate in more than one bracket. The entry fee, which includes a T-shirt, is $10 for the first event and $5 for each additional event.
The registration deadline is March 1. Late registrations will be accepted the morning of March 3, but these entrants are not guaranteed a T-shirt. Tournament check-in begins at 9 a.m. The event will conclude when the last match is played.
Registration forms are available online.
People who don’t play ping pong but still want to support the cause are encouraged to make donations to the Andrew K. Hurd Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards $1,000 to a deserving GEHS student each year. Information about Hurd’s life and the scholarship fund his family created in his honor can be seen at www.andrewkhurdscholarship.com.
To register for the tournament or for more information, visit http://www.usd231.com/webschools/forms/subpage.aspx?menu=1_307 or email Abromeit at AbromeitD@usd231.com. Forms and fees can be mailed to GEHS, ATTN: Ping Pong Tourney, 425 N. Waverly Road, Gardner, KS 66030.