Annabelle Archer, far right, organized a sand volleyball tournament to raise money for cystic fibrosis research. Members of the Lovejoy Leopard volleyball team attended. 

Lovejoy senior Annabelle Archer wanted to put her love for volleyball and her passion for helping people together for her senior school project. So, she set her sights on her godmother’s battle with cystic fibrosis.

Her love of volleyball notwithstanding, it was an easy choice to put together a sand volleyball tournament, with all proceeds going to aid in the fight against CF.

Archer, who stars on the Lady Leopards’ volleyball team and will be attending the University of North Carolina on a volleyball scholarship, hosted a tournament with 32 teams last weekend in McKinney. Around 130 people suited up to play, with many more in attendance.

All donated to Archer’s cause, and by tournament’s end, the senior had collected more than $6,000 that she plans to give to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Dallas.

“It was really cool to see so many people supporting me, and I think it meant more to my godmother to see that many people caring about her,” Archer said.

Archer’s godmother, Mandy Elmore, has been best friends with Archer’s mother since the two were young girls. Elmore, now 44, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth. When Archer began contemplating an idea for a senior project, she knew she wanted to help Elmore at the same time.

“We don’t have to do something on as big of a scale as my tournament for our senior project, but I wanted to raise money for CF and for my godmother,” she said.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body. It’s an inherited disorder, and while improvements have been made in treating and screening for the disease in the last decade, it still requires daily care by those affected.

The foundation in Dallas aids directly in research and developing new treatments for cystic fibrosis, of which this is currently no cure. However, that doesn’t stop people like Archer from giving their time to fight against it, as foundations all over the country are thriving thanks to donations.

Lovejoy advanced to the state tournament last year, and the squad, led by Archer and fellow seniors Rachel Langs and Shanel Bramschreiber, is aiming for a Class 5A state championship in 2017.

For continued coverage of the local sports scene, follow @timothyglaze on Twitter. 

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