“Rebecca Mercier was a great friend, an excellent volleyball player, a dedicated student, and just an all around special person,” said Kirstin Fry, one of the event organizers, and a friend of Becky’s. “The whole town felt a loss after her passing in September 2007.”
On the first day of school for Exploits Valley High that year, Rebecca (Becky) Mercier’s peers were told she had passed away suddenly.
Becky was 15-years-old, and was entering Grade 10. She had passed away from a rare heart condition.
And five years later, her memory lives on in the hearts of her friends, and the community.
A few years ago, Fry said, there was a beach volleyball fundraiser in Becky’s name.
This year, Fry, Shannon Hollett, Elecia Noseworthy and Erynn Linehan combined ideas and decided to organize Beach 4 Becky on Sept. 1.
“Becky was an exceptional volleyball player and very much dedicated to it,” Fry said. “Her passion for the sport was the inspiration for our event. Her passing was the reason we chose the Heart and Stroke Foundation as the recipients of the donation.”
Along with the four friends, others, including Becky’s former volleyball coach, Dave Jewer, have been helping get word out as well as doing the scheduling. Carissa Davis, the community fundraising co-ordinator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation has also been assisting, as well as the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor, who are lending them barbeques and volleyballs, allowing them to use the courts by Centennial Field, and supplying hamburgers and hot dogs.
“We have a large number of friends volunteering to help us, and an even greater number of Becky’s friends and family who are ecstatic about the fundraiser, and offering themselves to do ‘whatever we need help with,’” Fry said. “We are in the midst of finding sponsors, with Donnini’s supplying the prizes for the winners of both boy’s divisions, as well as the female division. Central Pharmacy has also donated prizes, and the Heart and Stroke foundation has also supplied a large number of giveaways.”
With a capacity for 14 teams per division, there are currently 12 female teams and 13 males teams registered.
Registration is taking place through the Beach 4 Becky Facebook group.
Registration cost is $15 a player, $30 per team.
They are also selling shirts designed by Hollett, which include the Heart and Stroke logo, a volleyball, and Becky’s number.
In addition, there is an online donation set up, which can also be found on the Facebook group.
“This was created because there is a large number of Becky’s friends and supporters who are not available to attend the tournament, but mentioned that they would like to donate regardless,” Fry said.
“The purpose of this event is to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and to celebrate the memory of our friend. We are planning and participating in an event she would have loved, and are honored to have known such a wonderful person. Becky was a special girl, and judging by the volunteers, support, donations, and kind words, she has certainly touched the lived of many people.”
The organizers would like to thank everyone in advance for making this event possible.
“It means so much to us that everyone is getting together to rejoice in her memory. Everyone has been so eager to show their support and to help us organize and plan this event. We would like to thank everyone in advance for a very special day that they helped make happen.”