HURRICANE, W.Va.-- More than 40 people played volleyball in pits full of mud in Hurricane on Saturday to benefit the local Habitat for Humanity on its 25th anniversary.
"People have been getting muddy on our construction sites for years," Ken Adams, development director of Habitat for Humanity, said. "We wanted to open it up to everyone.
"They might not be swinging hammers, but they're still getting dirty," Adams said.
About 60 others came to watch the muddiness as popular music blared across the mud pits.
The event marked the 25th year that Habitat for Humanity, which uses volunteer labor to build affordable houses for low-income families, has worked in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
Some players waded through the mud, leaping enthusiastically into the water. Others seemed hesitant to get dirty.
Robert Ferrell, for example, brought a team from the NAPA Distribution Center. He spent the afternoon lunging for volleyballs and sending torrents of brown water towards his teammates, who emerged sopping, breathless and excited.
"There's a lot of enthusiasm out there," John Corrie, a construction volunteer and Habitat for Humanity board member, said.
Saturday was the first time that Habitat for Humanity had hosted a mud volleyball tournament in the area.
"This is brand new for us," Adams said. "It's something different that hasn't been done in West Virginia."
Many players enjoyed the novelty of the sport.
"I have played volleyball before and I have played in the mud, but never at the same time," said Bryan Escue, a player and a lawyer at Escue & Pritt.
Escue, who had heard about the event on the radio and gathered a group from his law firm, enjoyed watching the community come together to support a charitable cause.
"You don't get that too often anymore," Escue said.
As drenched players emerged from the mud pits, they discussed how important Habitat has been for the community.
Shawn Means, executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Kanawha and Putnam County, has watched the organization grow over the last 25 years.