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If you walk by the chapel on Thursday afternoons and hear uproarious laughter, there’s a good chance it’s the chair volleyball team. One of the newer activities to come to Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, the game emphasizes teamwork, exercise and fun.

“From its first conception, there were just two of us volleying the beach ball back and forth and more people joined us. I’m not sure how it got started—I think Linda, our activity director, set up the net to see if we were interested in it and boy, yes! There are six people on each side, so we need at least 12 players. Sometimes when the ball is missed, we blame Harvey,” said resident Beth Brown.

Harvey may not be the best player on the team, but he has a good excuse.

“Once in a while, if we don’t have quite enough people to play, we have somebody by the name of Harvey sitting in a certain chair. We can’t see Harvey, but we all know he’s there,” said resident Ken Lohrentz.

Harvey may or may not be needed depending on the number of players at practice that week, but one thing is for sure, everyone is always having a really good time.

“It’s just fun,” said Ken. “I enjoy the camaraderie we have and the enjoyment of getting together. We just have a couple of rules (we make them up as we go). One, you have to be seated. And two, if you hit the fire sprinkler in the ceiling, be prepared to run.”

Beth finds great joy in the sport, too. “It’s interesting when you volley the ball because you hit people in the shoulder, the head, the back … we’re laughing all the time over places the ball hits us.”

Resident Esther Kinsey shares the laughter, too. “We laugh a lot. We play with a beach ball and you have to stay in your chair. So, we’re hitting each other in the head. I just enjoy laughing and it’s good exercise. I played volleyball in college. I was such a dud in sports, and it was the only sport I was actually good at. It’s fun at this stage in life to go back to it.”

Esther’s husband of 51 years, Arlyn, also joins in on the fun when he’s not busy playing bridge. “It’s just nice to go there and play. Everybody’s happy, relaxed and we have fun. It’s a good time. You’re among friends.”

If you’d like to see what all the fun is about, stop by the chapel on Thursdays around 3 or 3:30 and pull up a chair to try it out!

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