Joe Torres Co-ed Volleyball Tournament Helps Cancer Patients


A memorial volleyball tournament serves up an "ACE", as the community of Lexington helps out one of its own.

Playing in the sand takes on a whole new meaning, during the 20th annual Joe Torres sand volleyball tournament in Lexington.

The event started as a way to honor a community member who was stricken by leukemia, and has benefited a different cancer patient every year since.

This year it's for Mike Araujo, who is fighting thyroid cancer.

"Cancer is really not just a bad disease, but it's a disease that's there and we can't do anything about it," said tournament organizer Jim Macias. "So we as volleyball players decided to get out here and help somebody forget what their struggles are for one day and to show them that the community cares about them."

And while Mike gets his support from his family, he also gets hope from new friends who came out to support him.

"There's a lot of people I've never even met or seen before, but they're here for me, and they're here for a reason, and I really appreciate that," said Araujo. "I really appreciate that all of them, it's made my day, even though it's a cloudy day in Lexington, I've seen a lot of sunshine today. I really am. It's another day of life that I have."

Proceeds from Sunday's tournament will benefit the Mike Araujo family. An indoor tournament spinoff of this event will be held in Gothenburg later this fall.