LEXINGTON — Tim Rios has been participating and playing in the Joe Torres Volleyball Tournament for nearly 20 years. The tournament acts as a fundraiser to benefit a community member with medical issues. After Rios cancer diagnosis, he is now the beneficiary of the 26th annual tournament.

The annual co-ed sand volleyball tournament takes place on the last Sunday in July, this year it will be on July 28 at Plum Creek Park and the Lexington Aquatic Center. Teams of any skill level and age can come and compete to help benefit Tim Rios this year.

Rios will receive the proceeds of the tournament, he was diagnosed with State III squamous cell carcinoma on April 3 this year.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, accounting for approximately 20 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers. State III indicates the cancer has either spread into facial bones or a nearby lymph node.

They can develop from the flat squamous cells which make up much of the epidermis. Squamous cell cancers usually grow slowly and it is uncommon for them to spread, according to the Cancer Treatment Center of America.

Rios has been through chemotherapy and radiation treatments for the cancer. He recently completed his treatments.

Jim Macias, the organizer of the tournament, said Rios was one of the first people he met when he moved to the area in 1993. Macias organized the tournament to benefit his friend, Joe Torres, who was diagnosed with leukemia.

“He was a supporter of the tournament since day one,” Macias said. Rios played in over 20 tournaments over the years and played with other indoor volleyball teams which Macias was a part of. After Rios was diagnosed with cancer, he said it was a “no-brainer,” to support Rios due to his generosity over the years.

“He knows what the tournament is all about,” Macias said, “It’s our turn to step up for him.”

Macias said the whole community comes together to donate items, like trophies, t-shirts, raffle items, etc. He said numerous individuals reach out and donate to the tournament.

Several businesses have been sponsoring for over 20 years including, Tyson, Lexington Regional Health Center, Awards Plus and Lexington Clipper-Herald. Others sponsors include Pinnacle Bank and Black Diamond Auto.

Macias extended a special thank you to Ann Luther and the City of Lexington for preparing the areas. “They do a wonderful job of getting the area ready,” he said, “their crews provide a great atmosphere for us to come down and play.”

“It seems like thank you is not enough sometimes,” Macias said.

People really step up, they know what it is all about,” Macias said, “It is a community effort, Lexington steps up, and the willingness of the community has been overwhelming.”

Macias said when he moved here in 1993 he was surprising what a giving community Lexington is and say people step up for those who are in need. He said when he walks into businesses this time of year they ask what they can do to help.

People are invited to come down on Sunday to enjoy a good time, good food and a few laughs, Macias said.

Rios said he is honored to have been named the beneficiary of the tournament and thanks everyone who comes down on Sunday.

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