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Everything Earned Athletic Award - Willoughby South High School

Congratulations to the Willoughby South High School Volleyball Team!

Elk & Elk is very excited to announce the winner of our April 2016 Everything Earned Athletic Award.

To recognize Willoughby South High School volleyball team's passion for helping the community, Elk & Elk awarded the team $1,000 to benefit their program. The firm will also be making a $1,000 donation to A Special Wish Foundation in the team's name.

As the head coach of Willoughby South High School's volleyball program, Bill Behrend set out to ensure his players were not just members of a team, but part of a family. Last year, when one of Behrend's relatives was in need, the team put these family values to work.

It was brought to the girls' attention that Behrend's great niece was suffering from a Wilms tumor. Three-year-old Bella had endured 44 weeks of chemotherapy, eight radiation treatments and the loss of a kidney, among other treatments and procedures. The Rebels brought the community together for a "Princess Night" fundraiser, which raised $5,000 in honor of Bella's Special Wish.

"Not only was Bella related to our coach, but it's always sad when you hear that someone has cancer, let alone a little girl," says sophomore Melissa Groudle. "Everyone just wanted to do something really special for her."

A Special Wish Foundation, founded in 1982, was one of the first wish-granting organizations in the country. The Cleveland Chapter was founded in 2013. The organization grants wishes to children under the age of 21 who are suffering from life-threatening or life-altering illnesses and disorders. Wishes granted by A Special Wish include gifts, trips, opportunities for the children to meet their heroes and "Splashes of Joy," which are smaller gifts and experiences leading up to the granting of a child's "Big Wish."

Click here to make a donation to A Special Wish Foundation's Cleveland Chapter.

About Elk & Elk's Everything Earned Athletic Award

The Everything Earned Athletic Award offers deserving high school teams in Northeast Ohio the chance to earn $1,000 courtesy of Elk & Elk. The program was launched in the fall of 2015, and dozens of athletic directors from area high schools proudly nominated teams from a wide variety of sports to represent their school. Each month, Elk & Elk will select one team to receive a $1,000 award to benefit their program.

NOTE: Nominations for the 2015-2016 Everything Earned contest are now closed. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about future contests.