This Sunday the fourth annual Shannon Runningbear Beach Volleyball Tournament takes place in Long Beach. The tournament, organized and run by friends of the late educator, raises funds annually for a program at Long Beach City College that provides basic skills education and mentoring to at-risk students. Shannon created this program, named the STAR Program, and was a force of nature in ensuring its success and the success of its students.
Shannon was a close friend of mine through the years, dating all the way back to our time in college at UCSD together in the late 1980s, where she was an NCAA national champion athlete in both volleyball and track & field (a campaign honoring her is underway at UCSD to construct a new track & field scoreboard at the site of her greatest athletic achievements).
As this year’s beach volleyball tournament approaches, I went back to a piece I wrote immediately after her passing in 2009. Here it is… Continue reading