For the past 38 years, the Blindmans Volleyball Tournament has been a fixture in the Denmark community. As a kid, Cassie Collins remembers helping to sell raffle tickets with Lloyd, a CP client. "I remember the smile on Lloyd's face every time someone said 'yes' to buying more tickets," Cassie recalls fondly. While her mom and aunts played volleyball in the tournament, she would be working alongside Lloyd.
In her teens, Cassie participated in the tournament with her league volleyball team. While they never took home a trophy, "We were terrible," she laughed, they came for fun and to support CP.
The Coop was a home away from home for Cassie. She was there so often playing volleyball that she took a job right away when she turned 18. "I was here so much anyway that Pete offered me the job."
From 2010 to 2020, Cassie held positions at 12 different bars in the area, sometimes having up to 3 different jobs at once. Once she took over as Manager at one of the bars, she says, "I realized how much I actually enjoyed running a business and the social aspects of a bar. I like making people forget about their worries, and have a good time."
When The Coop went up for sale, Cassie says, "It was really my dream opportunity. Growing up in this area, The Coop was like family with people I'd known my entire life."
It was an opportunity she couldn't pass up, so at 29 years-old, Cassie decided to buy the business. "It has been a learning curve, and I really learned as I went." She admits, "Sometimes I winged it!"
After a year of owning Cassie's Coop, she says "It has been one of the most exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding years of my life...and I wouldn't change a thing!"
"As a child I never expected to be in charge of the tournament, such a large and important community event. My goal is make it bigger and better each year for CP and for the community."
Now her mom takes off work and helps her to get set-up, supports the raffles and food. Her dad assists with the Booyah, and her brothers help, as well. It is a family tradition that continues for Cassie, who is now running the tournament that she has been part of her entire life.
Don't miss this year's 38th Annual Blindmans Volleyball Tournament at Cassie's Coop in Denmark, Feb. 25-27. If you want to come out to play or watch, contact Cassie's Coop at 920-864-2239 or message them on Facebook. The event features a full weekend of volleyball games, raffle prizes, live music, food and drink specials and lots of fun.
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