By Clairissa Cooper
As long as volleyball is played on the courts of Lewisville ISD, Jenna Sigety’s memory lives on.
Every October, volleyball players of all ages and abilities come together for a good cause to raise scholarship money in Jenna’s name through the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation (https://www.lisdef.com/). The 6th annual Volley for Jenna Tournament (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/volley-for-jenna-volleyball-tournament-2019-tickets-69765202599?aff=erelexpmlt) takes place Saturday, October 5 at Lewisville High School, Sigety’s alma mater.
Seventeen-year-old Jenna Sigety tragically died in a car accident her senior year – a week before homecoming in late October 2007.
The event is hosted every homecoming weekend by the Lewisville Student Council, of which Jenna was a part of, including the Rowdy Crowd, National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and both the soccer and volleyball teams.
“Everyone loved Jenna, she had such an impact on those around her,” said Ellen Sigety, Jenna’s mother from Highland Village.
An overflow of 2,000 people attended her funeral, each one touched by her positive influence.
“She loved the game so much that she never wanted to stop playing. We wanted to focus on that legacy and how much she loved volleyball, loved the camaraderie, and how it brought her teammates together,” said John Sigety, Jenna’s father.
This tournament is a continuation of her spirit in bringing the community together and remembering what Jenna stood for, her character, and love of people.”
The year Jenna passed away, one scholarship was started by Jenna’s third grade Valley Ridge Elementary teacher and continues today. However, Jenna’s oldest sister Hayley, was determined to do more. That was when she formulated the idea of creating a scholarship fund through Jenna’s love of volleyball.
As the tournament grew, so did the LEF scholarships. In year’s past, scholarships were given to one or two LHS seniors, however last year the foundation was able to provide every senior volleyball player with a $500 scholarship. They hope to continue that tradition this year with seven LHS seniors. To this date, they have given out 12 scholarships.
“Every year we go to the LEF banquet and shake hands with each recipient, meet the parents, and give a little bouquet of orange flowers – Jenna’s favorite color,” said Ellen. “It is a proud moment for our family.”
As far-reaching as the monetary benefits have been on the community, even more so are the way in which the Sigety family has turned a tragedy into a positive outreach of faith and hope with those around them.
“We’re often asked why is your family so happy?,” reflects Ellen, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We have a knowledge that families can be together forever. Our faith tells us that we will see Jenna again.
“[Jenna’s death] has been binding for us. It has given our family a compass to live a certain way so that we can see Jenna again,” said Ellen.
Faith was an anchor in Jenna’s life, serving on youth committees for the Church of Jesus Christ, leading youth groups, and attending early-morning seminary scripture classes.
She was the youngest of 5 children, including her twin sister, Tessa, who named her oldest daughter Jenna, a kindergartener, in her sister’s honor.
“Jenna’s passing is, to this day, the most tragic event of my life. However, as I reflect back to those months shortly after Jenna passed, I recall a surreal sense of love and togetherness that united our community. I like to think that Jenna brought us together in a way,” said Tessa.
“In the middle of angst and grief and depression, I had to make a choice to step outside of that,” said John. “I really had to step back and try to understand this whole idea of God’s grace and He being able to take away my sorrows. From that perspective we just live our lives according to what we believe.”
The tournament will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 5 at the Lewisville High School arena.
Those interested in joining the tournament pay a $10 entry fee to join a team of six or more players. Registration can be found online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/volley-for-jenna-volleyball-tournament-2019-tickets-69765202599?aff=erelexpmlt
Donations made outside of the tournament can mail a check to Lewisville ISD Education Fund, Inc, 1565 C West Main Street, Lewisville, Texas 75067 and write LHS Jenna Sigety Scholarship Fund in the memo.