In 1998, a few people who knew a few people combined forces to create a 6 person co-ed volleyball team. Over next 13 years that team would go on to win countless league championships and local sand volleyball tournaments. It was during that span, that numerous friendships were created and endless events became treasured stories. In May of 2011, one of the players from that team unexpectedly lost his life at the age of 35. He was a family man, leaving behind a wife and 3 children under the age of 7. He was an amazing friend to anyone that knew him. He was a top Engineering at IBM in Rochester, MN. He was an unbelievable athlete. He succeeded at anything he did. He was, in short, a very amazing person. His name was Paul Melby.
When Paul died from his unknown heart condition while crossing the finish line of a local race that qualified him for the Boston marathon, he started something in motion which he never imaged in life. He was the sole reason for the creation of the non-profit organization which would become known in 2013 as Melby Memorial Charities (MMC).
Wanting to help assist his family in the wake of his unforeseen loss, MMC created a Volleyball Tournament in his honor called the Melby Memorial Volleyball Tournament (MMVT). Each year, MMVT is held on the 3rd Saturday of June every summer in Stewartville, MN as a 4 co-ed sand tournament, cornhole tournament, pickleball tournament, 3×3 basketball tournament, raffles, silent auctions and tremendous competition. Highly regarded as the best sand co-ed tournament in Rochester, teams come from all over to compete. The competition, however, is secondary to the cause.
Each year, MMC determines who the recipient(s) will be based off of applications and recommendations. The only caveat for each recipient being that the family who happens to unfortunately be fighting some unforeseen battle (typically medically related) also has to have a close family member with a relationship to the great sport of volleyball, basketball or has a passion for running. Sports that Paul Melby loved so much.
The team Paul Melby was an original member of and played for all those years has since departed as well, but all the people his story has touched along the way have not. MMC is made up of former teammates, opponents, and even people that never knew him, but choose to be part of the team because they love what he stood for, the type of person he was and the cause that he created.
MMC has assisted multiple families and have raised over $130,000 in their first 9 years having an average annual growth rate of 25% each year. All in the name and honor of Paul Melby.