The STARS Coed Volleyball Tournament for Charity was first played in March of 2002. FMVC President Mike Bourassa wanted to try and host a separate tournament from the Preseason and Post Season Coed League tournaments. The STARS Tournament vision was to host an open, three-day tournament that teams from the surrounding area and local teams could participate in. The STARS Tournament would be played at FP Walshe High School and have two divisions: Competitive and Intermediate. There would be a social on Saturday afternoon at a local establishment and a Dinner & Dance on Saturday evening. All money raised would be donated to STARS. STARS was chosen because it can benefit anyone at any time.
As with most new projects, a lot of work was put into getting teams to participate and for businesses to get behind the idea and donate to the tournament. The very first STARS tournament had 10 teams participate in it and our donation to STARS was $2300. The tournament was deemed a success overall and it was decided that it would become an annual event. Today the STARS Tournament attracts over 40 teams annually from throughout Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, we have massive support from all aspects of the community and our donations to STARS average $11,000.
The STARS Tournament has grown into a massive fundraiser not only for STARS but for local community groups as well. We partner with various local groups and organizations and donate to them for their assistance in running the STARS Tournament at various levels. The STARS Tournament also has one of the biggest economic impacts on the business community of Fort Macleod as 40+ teams, most of which are from out of town, come to town and shop locally.
There have been many changes to the STARS Tournament over the years. Of note:
2008 – a third division was created called the Recreational Division. There was beginning to be too big of a gap in the Intermediate Division talent-wise so it was suggested at the completion of STARS 2011 we start a third division. The organizing committee followed through on this suggestion and created the Recreational Division and put an age 25+ to be eligible to play in it
2012 – Changed the way we donate to STARS. We would now be part of the Fund a Flight Campaign. Each STARS Mission costs approximately $5400. By switching to the Fund a Flight Program we made it our goal to raise at least $5400. Teams and donors really got on board with this challenge and since 2012 the STARS Tournament has raised enough money to fund at least one flight. Since 2014 we have funded 2 flights annually!
2015 – With the local schools under a massive renovation the STARS Committee was at a crossroads as to what to do with the tournament. It was suggested that we contact Volleyball Alberta and rent Sport Courts so that we can set up in the local hockey arena to play. With the support and cooperation from the Town of Fort Macleod and Volleyball Alberta, we were able to secure the use of the arena and the flooring. The STARS Tournament weekend was moved to the first weekend in April so that there was enough time to get the ice out of the arena and get it ready for the Sport Courts. The majority of the games are still played at the arena with some matches being played at WA Day School
2019 – Funds raised exceeded $100,000 for the lifetime of the STARS Tournament
2020 – a fourth division was created called the Beer League Division. There was beginning to be too big of a gap in the Recreational Division talent-wise so it was suggested at the completion of STARS 2019 that we create a fourth division. The organizing committee followed through on this suggestion and created the Beer League Division. Teams have to be non-competitive recreational level teams with an age of 30+ in order to eligible to play in it
The STARS Tournament Organizing Committee has grown from a committee of one to a Committee of many. The STARS Tournament Organizing Committee currently consists of FMVC President Mike Bourassa, FMVC Vice President/Treasurer Chelsie Wolff, FMVC Members at Large: Brayden Van Driesten, Leanne Neels, Lauren Roelofsen, Lindsey Zielinski, Wes Stockton, and Angela Bourassa.