What she left: Heather Harkness volleyball tournament continues its tradition


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"What She Left Behind" the message and theme of the Heather Harkness Tournament. This message describes Heather's life and example to all of those surrounded by her.

Sydney Varner, Santa Fe Staff Writer

Every year at Santa Fe the Heather Harkness Memorial Volleyball Tournament is hosted in honor of a volleyball player who passed away in 2007. This commemorative volleyball tournament has been a Santa Fe tradition for nine years and has grown considerably since its conception.

This volleyball tournament started as a way to honor Heather Harkness and the person that she was. Heather was a student at Santa Fe and played for the volleyball team as well as an avid member serving as the Santa Fe DECA chapter historian.

“The tournament is a great way to remember who Heather Harkness was,” sophomore volleyball player Lauren McCarty said.

She passed away in 2007 due to medical complications during an appendectomy.

The DECA club initially started the tournament at Santa Fe as a memorial event to Heather and a fundraiser for her family. Since then it has became tradition and provides funds for the tournament and the P.A.C.K Scholarship program. At first Santa Fe’s DECA planned and put on the tournament, but have since handed most of the responsibilities over to the Heather Harkness Foundation where volunteers help to put on and run the tournament.

“It’s the largest recreational volleyball tournament in the Midwest,” senior DECA member Sami Jiwa said. “Now the foundation’s adult volunteers spend their time working on it. This year, we only worked two weeks ahead of time.”

This tournament is consistently growing and continues to honor Heather and her legacy.

“It’s a tournament for both the school volleyball team as well as recreational teams. Anybody can be apart of it,” sophomore volunteer Shelby Dye said. “It’s fun to get together and continue to honor Heather.”

The Heather Harkness tournament has been honoring the legacy of Heather and Santa Fe for years and will continue to do so.


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