Cory Luedtke, owner of Boston Pizza Chemong in Peterborough originally started hosting a beach volleyball tournament in the parking lot of his Peterborough Boston Pizza. For him, it sounded like fun and he would have the opportunity to support a local charity while potentially increasing sales for a busy weekend.
Twelve years later, the Smashed Volleyball tournament at Boston Pizza is a highlight for local spectators, BP guests and volleyball fans galore! Over the years, the focus has switched for Cory Luedtke and his team; it’s not just about sales, it’s about supporting local families and raising money and awareness for Easter Seals kids.
“The Boston Pizza team is proud of the partnership we have built with Easter Seals over the years, and supporting these families is something that is important to us. It is nothing short of inspirational; meeting our Easter Seals kids and being a part of their success is hugely rewarding,” says Cory.
The Boston Pizza team hosts the tournament each year, where there is over 500 tonnes of sand brought into the parking lot, fenced in and the area is prepared for participants who have fundraised to take part in the event. There are two divisions, maxing out at 32 teams of both recreational and competitive levels of play. To date, this tournament has raised upwards of $200,000 for Easter Seals Ontario.
“It’s always great seeing the kids come each year and hang out with us. It’s usually right before they are heading to camp, and it’s fun to share stories of last years camp memories, and see how excited they are to get to camp again. Knowing that we are a part of making that happen, bringing accessibility and acceptance to these kids, and putting those smiles on their faces makes it all worth it,” shares Cory.
Without the hard work, and serious commitment from Cory and his Boston Pizza team, this event wouldn’t be possible. Cory continually strives to better the tournament, challenges us to do more, be more efficient and offer an amazing weekend to our participants. Cory puts in long hours, asks for 110% from his team and each year they deliver knowing that it’s all for the kids.
A huge thank-you to this amazing volunteer for all of his leadership and support!