lori and Kiyo

The fifth annual volleyball marathon, which was started by Kiyo Yamamoto in honor of Lori Bassett-Branco’s fight against breast cancer, will be Saturday.

The Lori Bassett-Branco Volleyball Breast Cancer fundraiser will hit five years since being established.


On Saturday, the event will be hosted within the Yolo middle school gym and be priced at $20 per person with all proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Society. 


Organizer Kiyo Yamamoto, also known for organizing Newman’s adult volleyball league which has been running for over 35 years, first started the volleyball marathon fundraiser after being inspired by Lori Bassett-Branco, who had played alongside Yamamoto within the adult league since the program's beginning.  


“She’s a breast cancer survivor,” said Yamamoto. “She’s been playing on my volleyball league since 1987. Being a survivor she was my inspiration to do this; to help raise money for breast cancer.”


In the more than four years that the fundraiser has been running, it has raised more than $3,400, with more expected to be added to the total contribution this year. 


As of now, the event has a total of 10 participants who have signed up, with more to be expected to join throughout the coming days. 


The sport has quickly gained popularity within the Westside, as the numbers reflect. With over 40 participants counted at last year’s fundraiser and a filled roster every year during the adult volleyball league for each season, there are more to be expected this year.


“There are a lot of people that are really into volleyball around here and we’re getting more and more each year so there’s a lot of interest,” said Branco.


Orestimba High students will also be in attendance, selling T-shirts and other breast cancer related merchandise. Those proceeds will also be donated to the same cause. 


The event will begin at 8 a.m. and allow participants a basic non-competitive free play of volleyball for up to four hours, with a lunch in between. Once on a court, a participant can expect to be rotated to another court with new players every so often throughout the day. 


“It's just a super fun day, there's no scoring, it's just nothing but playing the entire time, no skills necessary,” Yamamoto said. 


Interested participants or community members who have any concerns or questions regarding the event can call Yamamoto at (209) 324-7281 for more information.