Beach volleyball tournament raises funds for Taylor’s Gift

Laura Kattilakoski
Staff Writer

Fun, food and sand between your toes— right here in Coppell.

Beach Volleyball Tournament signs were all around Coppell promoting the event at the Beach club. Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

Billboards, cars and roadways dominate the scene, but stepping inside the Yucatan Beach Club, the surroundings turn into a scene from the beach. There is music, tiki huts and, on Friday, six hours of volleyball.

The beach volleyball tournament hosted at the Yucatan Beach Club benefits an organization called Taylor’s Gift.

After choosing to donate their daughter’s organs after she died in a skiing accident last year, Taylor Storch’s parents started Taylor’s Gift.

“Since Taylor’s Gift was founded, the number of organ donor registrations in Texas has increased by over 100 percent in the past year,” Taylor’s former algebra teacher Mandy Goddard said.

What started as a local project with close friends and family quickly spread through the community and eventually became a nation-wide organization to encourage everyone to register as organ donors.

“What we have here is we have a volleyball tournament that St. Marin, the apartment complex, is putting on. This is the second year they’ve done this, the first year that they’ve asked Taylor’s Gift to help and they’re giving the proceeds to our foundation,” Taylor’s father Todd Storch said.

Freshman CHS students Emily Rich and Savannah Armes and Sophomore Ellie Anderson (Team Kids) prepare to start a game against the adults in support for the Beach Tournament. Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

Teams from all over the Coppell area showed up to participate in the competition. There was no registration fee, but donations were encouraged. Although the participants consisted mostly of people no longer in high school, a team of Taylor’s former friends was one of the youngest teams competing at the tournament.

“[Our team name is] The Kids because were the youngest here,” freshman Savannah Armes said.

The team consisted of freshmen Emily Rich, Armes, Courtney Quirk and sophomore Ellie Anderson. Although they were just at the tournament for a good time, they came decked out in their team t-shirts ready to play volleyball.

“We made our own T-shirts. We got white V-necks and Courtney [Quirk] found a spray tie-dye and we just sprayed the shirt and then we put duct tape stencils on the back,” Rich said.

This year marked the second time the Coppell Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the St. Marin apartment complex for the event and this year the proceeds will be donated to Taylor’s Gift.

Todd Storch and Taylor's Gift Foundation Coordinator promote upcoming events they will be sponsoring. For more information check out Taylor’s Gift Facebook page! Photo by Rowan Khazendar.

“We are also registering people to be organ donors. Just because we register on our drivers license, does not necessarily mean we are registered into the database,” Goddard said.

The Storch family also encourages everyone to visit taylorsgift.org and ‘like’ Taylor’s Gift on facebook to raise awareness.

“It’s just a great way to get people together and learn more about the foundation and how to be an organ donor and have a good time,” Todd said.