Southern Select Volleyball would like to announce that for the first time in our program we will be offering a scholarship award to an outstanding young athletes in our club. The Shannon Family Memorial Volleyball Scholarship, will be an annual needs based award offered to assist with costs required to participate in club volleyball.
The Shannon Family Memorial Scholarship will be presented annually in honor of John Shannon and daughters Tori and Olivia, son-in-law Peter Worthington and family friend Krista Clayton, who all tragically lost their lives during a plane crash December 24, 2017 in Bartow.
The Shannon family were all great members of our community in Lakeland, and had a personal connection to Southern Select Volleyball. Tori and Olivia grew up playing volleyball, for LAVA (Lakeland Area Volleyball Academy) which is the former FSC affiliated juniors club, now known as Southern Select.
Tori competed hard as a Libero, while playing her 5 years with LAVA. Her passion and commitment to the sport and her team were obvious to all that knew her. A Lakeland HS graduate, where she was also a 4 year member of the Dreadnaughts Volleyball team, Tori went on to complete her college education and graduated from Clemson University. Her husband, Peter Worthington also died in the crash.
Olivia absolutely loved playing volleyball. She worked hard and was a giver to her team on the court. She played JV volleyball at Lakeland HS for 1 year and competed with LAVA for 2 years. She was enrolled at Southeastern University at the time of her death.
John Shannon was a local business man, who loved his community. As an attorney in Lakeland he wanted to serve his neighbors and had a huge heart for helping others. A single father who loved his daughters vibrantly, he made every game, tournament and event in their lives. He loved his family and did what ever he could to ensure their happiness. He was others oriented and always found ways to give back to Lakeland Volleyball.
The Shannon Family Memorial Volleyball Scholarship was founded by Jill Stephens, former Lakeland Area Volleyball Academy Director/Owner and former Florida Southern Head Women's Volleyball Coach and Lynn Anderson, St. Paul Lutheran School Volleyball Director and former LAVA coach. Both Stephens and Anderson knew the Shannon family personally through their involvement in the Lakeland Volleyball Community.
Lynn Andersen shared part of her motivation behind creating this scholarship was John's generosity and encouragement, "After his daughters started playing volleyball in middle school, John Shannon did whatever he could to help other kids play too. He bought balls and equipment for schools, and paid for entry fees for tournaments. When his girls started club ball he was always asking who he could help with payments so that more girls could participate. He was generous and a positive encourager to all he met"
Jill Stephens, also shared her passion for creating this scholarship. " It was an absolute blessing to have both Olivia and Tori compete in our club, attend FSC volleyball camps for years and watch them grow into amazing young women. No one adored them more than their father, and what made John so special was his heart for helping others enjoy the game his family loved so much. We are thrilled to carry on those passions by presenting this scholarship in the Shannon Family name."
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a member of Southern Select Volleyball club, that exemplifies a love, passion and dedication to the game, their team and themselves. The recipient will be committed to work hard, be respectful, and represent Southern Select Volleyball and the Lakeland/Polk County community with pride.
Southern Select would like to ask for your support by donating to the scholarship fund, so that it may continue to grow and help other families in our community pursue their love of volleyball.