Monday, January 24, 2022

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Corona Classic: a tribute to the power of one

Volleyball alumni from Pierce and Colusa High Schools participated in the 2022 Colusa County Corona Classic on Jan. 8, 2022.

In the mid-19th century, an American politician named Edward Everett, when discussing how one person can make a difference in society responded, “I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.” 

Now, over 180 years later in this rural Northern California county, that message rings true again as the rival Pierce Bears and Colusa RedHawks returned to the volleyball court to participate in the Colusa County Corona Classic, not only to honor the memory of Pierce alumna and Davis police officer Natalie Corona, but to pay tribute to her commitment to spreading compassion, positivity, and love.

The annual alumni volleyball game, the idea of longtime Pierce coach Kim Travis, which developed in the wake of Corona’s death, became a collaborative venture involving her counterpart in Colusa, Tina Lyons, but has grown to become a textbook example of how one person can impact a community.

Bringing together two adversaries is what Travis feels best represents Corona’s spirit as she explained, after the occasion.

“This evening is important to me for so many reasons,” Travis said. “We are honoring Natalie’s memory and coming together as a community, but the main reason is that she was all about kindness, equality, and goodness, and was constantly looking for opportunities to spread her infectious, positive attitude. Tina and I want to continue her legacy by honoring her annually at this fundraiser.  Natalie is deserving of this simple act, and we are so grateful to those who support this event.” 

All proceeds from the evening go to scholarships presented to a senior volleyball player from both Pierce and Colusa High Schools, and since its inception in 2020, four have been awarded, despite COVID preventing the game from being played in 2021.

This year, 33 former players turned out on Saturday, Jan. 8, in Colusa to take part in the two-match competition, and although the Bears won both, it was a greater victory for the community as Lyons stated, “It was a great night.  There were lots of laughs, but more importantly it was amazing to watch everyone come together for such a great cause.”

Travis and Lyons were also quick to point out the generosity of those who donated either time or money, including the Ottenwalter Family, Barbara and Austin Buthelezi, Morning Star Farms, Victor Matamoros, Laura Cervantes, Gretchen Carrere, and Aimee Williams, along with many others.

Overall, the evening was everything anyone could have hoped for, and one that can be summarized in the words of author Steve Maraboli who wrote, “Never question the power of one! Throughout history it has been the actions of only one person who has inspired the movement of change.”

Those interested in participating or contributing in the future should look for more information later this summer.

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