Annual beach bocce tourney all in the family

DEL MAR — Again this summer, the Vigilucci’s Beach Bocce World Championship XXXII will be held at 8 a.m. July 7 on Dog Beach. From 1981 to 2005, the main beneficiary was the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito and since 2006, has benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Carlsbad.Tournament Director John Manson of Encinitas, one of the founders, is an example of locals who have been involved in the tournament for decades. When it started back in 1981, neither of his two daughters, Brittany Gwin, 29, and Michelle White, 27, were even born. For the Manson girls, this tournament has always existed. And when they got old enough, they started to play or volunteer to help their dad run it.

For the last six years, Brittany’s husband, John Gwin, has been one of the core of volunteers. Manson foresees a day when their will be a third generation of his playing and or volunteering. All three of his young grandsons come to the tournament and have done so since they were born.

Others with a generational involvement include John Arendsen of Leucadia, Maddie Jones of Carlsbad, Ryan Grant of Carlsbad, Jim Fairweather of Encinitas, Gary Barker of Vista and Gene Carranza of Escondido.

Arendsen has been playing in the championship since 1985 and now has both his sons, Chad of Solana Beach and Scott of Leucadia participating. Chad’s wife Amber and her sister Alexis Clements of Oceanside also now play.

For Maddie Jones, 25, whose late father, Carl “Mr. Bocce” Bettis, was one of the founders and is considered the father of the tournament, the championship has always existed, just like for the Manson daughters. And when Jones got old enough, she too began playing. For the last six years, she has been one of the main volunteers working the Main Scoreboard Stage.

Fairweather has his brother and daughter playing. Carranza has his daughters Lia Carranza and Kara Vedenoff, who play. This will be the third year Barker will play in the Men’s Open Division with his son-in-law, Shez Sirimanne of Vista. And for Ryan Grant, the generational role is reversed. He got his father, Tim, involved.

The first generation, like Manson, Arendsen and Carranza are happy that the second generation has embraced and is playing in this fun championship. But they are thrilled that the next generation, through the tournament, has learned how important it is to get involved with something that helps the community. And that is the main purpose of Vigilucci’s Beach Bocce World Championship and has been for 31 years.




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