Jen Ezpeleta

Volley4Sound goes virtual, players with earplugs lip read

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Players gather north of the Hermosa Beach Pier for the first ever Volley4Sound tournament in 2018. This year’s event has moved online. Photo courtesy Kelsey Brandin

Volley4Sound, a volleyball tournament in Hermosa Beach that raises money and awareness for issues faced by the deaf and hard of hearing by requiring players to wear earplugs, will host an online auction this weekend after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the annual event. Volley4Sound is the creaiton of Kelsey Brandin, a hearing impaired South Bay native. Her move into philanthropy was inspired by her work with Margie Hindenlang, a hearing specialist at Mira Costa High School who died in 2018. Brandin has long enjoyed playing beach volleyball with her friends, and realized that if other players were spiking and serving while wearing earplugs, it could give them a sense of her experience. She launched Volley4Sound in October 2018, gathering interest from local businesses and corporate sponsors. In its first two years of existence, the event raised more than $15,000 for the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Rules from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health currently prohibit beach volleyball and other group sports to slow the spread of the coronavirus, so Brandin devised online options for this year’s event, including a muted lip reading challenge. The live silent auction will take place Oct. 17. To participate or donate, go to volley4sound.com. ER

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