2011-08-26 / Sports

Volleyball Tournament Held In Memory Of Fran Browne


Championship team: back row, left to right - Jen Friedman, Michael Friedman, Kevin Shannon, Scott Friedman, Andrew Burns, John Rainone; front row, left to right - Sarah Bradwich (daughter), Grace Bradwich (granddaughter), Connor Bradwich (grandson), Marty McManus, Erik McManus, Genevieve Shaw (daughter). Championship team: back row, left to right - Jen Friedman, Michael Friedman, Kevin Shannon, Scott Friedman, Andrew Burns, John Rainone; front row, left to right - Sarah Bradwich (daughter), Grace Bradwich (granddaughter), Connor Bradwich (grandson), Marty McManus, Erik McManus, Genevieve Shaw (daughter). The first annual Fran Browne Memorial Volleyball tournament was held at the Dayton Towers pool located at 105- 00 Shore Front Parkway. It turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day in every way.

The main reason for the event was to honor a truly beloved person, Fran Browne. People wanted to let him and his family know just how much he is missed, and how much he was loved.

The turnout for this event was fantastic. The tournament consisted of eight teams, each containing eight players. The size of the teams kept expanding as we drew closer to the tournament because of the amount of interest so many people had and their desire to participate and honor Fran. This event, however, turned out to be about much more than just a volleyball tournament. The pool was packed with people completely engaged in all the activities, cheering on their teams and just having a great time.

One participant said, “It really was a good all fashioned family atmosphere that was a pleasure to be a part of, and one that had to bring joy to Fran as he watched from above. The icing on the cake was the fact that the tournament ended up being so exciting.” It was a double elimination tournament that lasted all day long.

As the day went on the enthusiasm of the crowd continued to grow. By the time the championship game came around, just about everyone was on his/her feet cheering. The two teams in the final were the Ballbusters and the Knuckleheads. The Volleyballbusters had lost one game already, so to win the championship they had the ominous task of having to beat the undefeated Knuckleheads team twice.

The first game was a close one, but the Volleyballbusters were able to secure a victory. The second game was as thrilling a game as you could play. The lead kept changing hands all through the game. The scores were probably never more than two points apart. The pool was completely surrounded by the crowd, which was cheering wildly throughout the match. In the end, the Volleyballbusters held on to a dramatic 21-19 win.

At the end of the tournament, there was a wonderful presentation made to Fran’s two daughters, Genevieve and Sarah. They were given a plaque to symbolize how much their father was loved and missed. The two daughters gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out to honor their father. They spoke about all the wonderful memories their Dad had given to them, and to all of us. Their comments were filled with emotion, and you could just feel the love in their voices.

Organizers send special thanks to Tim Henning who volunteered to be the DJ for the day, and to all the people who helped out behind the scenes: Dolores Brennan, Barbara Friedman, Jen Friedman, Rick Feuerstein and Artie Zwolinski. The biggest thank you, they said, needs to go to Michael Friedman who came up with this great idea to hold this event, and who did the lion’s share of the work in making the event come to fruition.

Organizers continued, they hope this event will continue to grow, and they hope to see even more people there next year.

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