Tournament to benefit Andy Caress |

Tournament to benefit Andy Caress

Dodgeball, silent auction to raise medical funds for tennis pro

Mike Lawrence

Fans of Steamboat Springs’ growing dodgeball trend will play for a cause this weekend.

The Balls for Caress Dodgeball Tournament is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. In addition to dodgeball, the tournament includes a silent auction that already is under way with donations from many local businesses. Proceeds will alleviate medical expenses for Andy Caress, a pro at The Tennis Center – and a founder of the Steamboat Dodgeball League – who was diagnosed with skin cancer in early November.

Caress, 23, had surgeries in November and December to remove more than 60 lymph nodes from his neck, throat and shoulder area. He is traveling to Houston on Sunday for his next diagnosis and plans for further treatment.

The Tennis Center Director Jim Swiggart, who hired Caress in summer 2007, said Caress visited the Tennis Center on Tuesday and has maintained a positive, smiling attitude.

“You hope that somebody with his youth, positive nature and love of life would approach something this scary with those same traits, but you don’t expect it,” Swiggart said. “He has taken on this challenge with every bit of those qualities and more. … I couldn’t be more proud of him and hope that if my children are faced with challenges like this, that they’ll face them as he is facing his.”

Local businesses including Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Old Town Hot Springs and SmartWool have contributed items for the silent auction. There is limited space available to register a team, which must be done today. Each team must contribute $100. Those interested can call Anthony Miriani at 248-770-4351, or e-mail

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Caress said Thursday that he is feeling good and has a simple message for the community.

“The only thing is ‘thank you’ – it really is going to help,” Caress said about the tournament. “It’s going to mean the world to me and my family, so all I really want to say is ‘thank you.'”

Reporter Luke Graham contributed to this story.

If you go

What: Dodgeball tournament to benefit Andy Caress, pro at The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs and founder of the Steamboat Dodgeball League. Caress is battling skin cancer.

When: Tournament is from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; silent auction is under way and continues until 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: The Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs

Call: Anthony at 248-770-4351 for more information or to register a team.

Keep up with Andy

Visit Andy’s page to check in with Andy and offer support.