An Amherstburg tradition continues

By Joel Charron

Jaclyn Tiefenbach’s father must have Facebook in heaven.

The night before the 22nd Annual John “Wimpy” Tiefenbach Memorial Fireman’s Volleyball Tournament, Tiefenbach wrote on her Facebook asking her father to “do something about the rain” for the next day so the tournament could proceed.

Turns out her father may have some pull up there.

Fifty teams turned out for the annual volleyball tournament, with only a few light sprinkles in the early morning. Teams were split into four different categories, co-ed, 30-plus co-eds, 40-plus co-eds and women’s. The emergency service division was taken out because of lack of commitment.

Jaclyn Tiefenbach serves up the ball during a match Saturday afternoon.

The annual memorial tournament has been a  staple in Amherstburg for the past 22 years.

Organizer Jim Ouellette said there is always a waiting list for teams to get into the tournament.

The 22nd Annual John “Wimpy” Tiefenbach Memorial Firemen’s Volleyball Tournament, which is usually held at Centennial Park was moved to the United Communities Credit Union Complex grounds for the first time.

Ouellette said most of the teams that played in the first tournament, 22 years ago, are still playing in the tournament today. One of the reasons why the volleyball tournament has gained such a following is because of the fact that it’s a fundraiser that is aimed at having fun.

“Everyone realizes this is a fundraiser,” said Ouellette. “Yeah sometimes it gets a little competitive but they understand why they are there.  They don’t argue with refs and each other so it makes it a little more relaxed.”

“If everyone is out there to win things get a little more tense,” he continued.

Ouellette said the tournament raises roughly $6,000 with all the proceeds going to local charities.

Tiefenbach, who has played in the tournament for the past 12 years, said she considers it an honour to play in a volleyball tournament named after her father.

“There is no way I wouldn’t play,” she said. “It’s pretty awesome to walk around knowing that everyone is gathered here in a tournament that is named after him, it means a lot to me.”

While her father was still alive, Tiefenbach remembers helping her father set up the volleyball nets the night before the tournament. John Tiefenback succumbed a heart attack in March 1999.

“It’s a great tournament named after a great man,” she said.

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