By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Kayla Jennings lost her husband tragically last August, just months before their daughter Lainy was born. But Heath Jennings left behind a group of friends who want to do what they can to help provide for Lainy’s future.
Those friends put together a volleyball tournament, held May 11 at Crystal Springs, to establish a college fund for the baby their friend Heath never got to see.
Anthony “Crazy A” Mince of Alabama Events is one of the organizers of the fundraiser. The volleyball tournament got under way early, with other events – a kids zone, a magic show, food vendors, music from Tori Parris, etc. – ramping up later.
Kayla said her husband Heath was very involved in volleyball.
“When summertime got here, he was pretty much here every day,” Kayla said, at Crystal Springs Park, on Highway 204 just off U.S. 431. After Jennings died suddenly from complications during an imaging procedure, Mince and the rest of Heath’s volleyball colleagues wanted to do something to help Kayla and the baby, and to memorialize their friend.
That’s how the Health Jennings Memorial Volleyball Tournament was born. Organizers plan to make it an annual event, and they hope to establish a way for people to contribute to the college fund even after the tournament is over.
Tammy Parris said her son and Heath were close friends, leading to her and her daughter Tori’s involvement in the fundraiser.
Parris said they were pleased with the response to the fundraiser, and hope to see it grow in the future.