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Penguin News & Events

A reminder to us all

By now, you all may have heard Amy Beth Gardner’s story.

On the eve of her oldest daughter starting middle school; Gardner asked her daughter to squirt an entire tube of toothpaste on to a plate.

Once she was finished, she asked her daughter to put the toothpaste back in the tube.


The story is one that really resonated with us. In today’s fast-paced world where social media is king, tweets posts and comments can reach millions in seconds, and kindness is increasingly hard to find, we’d like to pass along Gardner’s words of wisdom. 

You will remember this plate of toothpaste for the rest of your life…You are going to have the opportunity to use your words to hurt, demean, slander and wound others. You are also going to have the opportunity to use your words to heal, encourage, inspire and love others.”

~Gardner to her daughter

The words you say have meaning. The posts you create have the power to reach millions of people, and the things you say can never truly be taken back.

A deleted tweet still exists somewhere, an embarrassing picture lives on forever, and your comments have lasting power.

As we embark on yet another school year; Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club would like to remind everyone to follow Gardner’s lead. We encourage parents and athletes alike to use that power for good.

Check on your child’s social media accounts; reflect personally on the things you all say and do.

Spread messages of kindness, compassion and heart- know that your words can hurt, but they can also lift up, encourage and support.

“In this world of constant chaos, we can all do a little more to make a difference for others,” said Anne Slattery, Penguins co-director. “Sometimes we all just need to step back and take a look at ourselves.”

Be smart, purposeful and mindful about what you say, post or tweet- because once it’s out there; it can’t ever be put back in the tube. 

Penguins head to USAV Nationals, fundraise for the trip

The 37th Annual USAV Girls Junior National Tournament will take place in Minneapolis, MN this year, and several Midwest Penguin Teams plan to participate.

The Midwest Penguins 131s, and 141s will compete in the USAV Nationals Division; 15Elite and 161s will compete in the American Division; 171s will compete in the Patriot Division and the Midwest Penguins 151s team is expected to receive a reallocation bid to compete as well. 

"We're so proud of the way all our teams competed this year," said Anne Slattery, club co-director. "For some of our teams the season has come to an end, but we're looking forward to a few more weekends of great volleyball and cheering on our National Teams as they compete." 

Teams headed to Nationals will host several fundraising events over the next few weeks including the Fifth Annual Big Ball Bash happening Friday, May 5 and Friday, May 12 at Center Court Sports Complex. 

More than 40 teams each night have accepted the challenge to take on the 4-foot-ball, Slattery said. 

"We're looking forward to another fun, and exciting event for a great cause," she added. 

Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club, in partnership with E.C.H.O.- Empowering Change Through Healthy Opportunities, a nonprofit organization that provides individuals and families with educational programs and recreational activities to promote health and fitness will host the two night event. 

The event will raise money for E.C.H.O, and Midwest Penguins teams headed to nationals. 

“We’re thankful to everyone who has participated in the event in the past, and who has helped make it so popular,” said Slattery, MWP Club Co-director and Co-founder of E.C.H.O. “Due to the demand, we’ve scheduled the event for two Friday nights this year, May 5 and May 12, to provide more opportunity for people to choose and participate.”

Teams will compete in a cross-over volleyball tournament during the event using a massive 4-foot inflatable volleyball.

Volunteers, including Midwest Penguin National Team Athletes, and sponsors help make the event possible.

Center Court will provide food and drink specials for the evening, and Penguin teams have generously donated baskets for a drawing valuing between $100 and $150. A silent auction will also take place.  

T-shirt sponsors for this year's event include: Bay Marketforce; Bender Levi, Larson & Associates, SC; Center Court Banquet Hall; Chucks Auto; Mulligan; Culver's; Devine Consign; FEI; Great Lakes Rubber; Grandma Mueller; Grow Hope at Saint A; Halquist Stone; Hartland Service Automotive Repair Center; Interstate Batteries; Milwaukee Office Products; One Touch Point; Riedel Sports; Rocky Rococo; Saint Thomas Moore; Sobelman's and Westbury Bank. 

Court Sponsors Include: Arrow Carton; Chuck's Auto; Culligan Water; Edward Jones; Fairway Stacked; Flawless Face; Grow Hope at SaintA; Hartland Service Automotive Repair Center; Interstate Batteries; Lewinski Family; M3 Financial; Milwaukee Office Products; Rocky Rococo; Saint Thomas Moore; Vrakas CPA + Advisors; and Renaissance Design and Renovation

"A huge thank you goes out to our volunteers, our sponsors and our title sponsor E.C.H.O., this event would not be possible without their assistance, and we couldn't be more grateful," said Slattery. 

Everyone is invited to attend the event and partake in the festivities even if they didn't register a team, participate in the silent auction, and the raffle and enjoy the tournament entertainment. 

Penguins throughout history

In celebration of our 20th anniversary season in 2017-2018, Midwest Penguins would like to invite you to share with us your memories of Midwest Penguins Volleyball Club. 
Send us old photos of your teams in action, at practice or at Qualifiers, and write us about your memories and what Midwest Penguins Volleyball has meant to you. 

Give us an update on where you are now, what you're doing, and share with us your ideas on how we can celebrate and host a potential reunion this season. 

We're so looking forward to hearing from you! 


Send photos and comments to or "Like" us on Facebook and send us a message that way. 

Penguins earn National Bids

Several Midwest Penguins teams competed in the Badger Bid National Qualifier event in Menomonee Falls this past weekend. Participating teams included Penguin 131, 141, 14-Elite, 151, 15-Elite, 161  teams. 

All teams competed well, and four came away with bids to USAV Nationals. The 13-1 and 14-1 team both took first place in their tournaments and walked away with National bids.  The 15-Elite and 16-1 earned American Bids. 

"It was a great weekend for Midwest Penguins Volleyball," said Anne Slattery, club co-director. "We are very proud of the way all our teams competed." 

With the exception of the 13s tournament, each team participated in a two-day event. Teams were required to win enough games in pool play to qualify for the second day of games. The 13s tournament, with seven teams, competed on Sunday. 

Midwest Penguins 171s team competed for its chance at a national bid last weekend. The team faced some tough competition, and came up short when vying for its National Bid. The 17s team will participate in USAV Nationals in the Patriot Division, but will join the 151s team, and the 14 Elite team by competing for a second chance at a national bid at qualifying events in Indianapolis at the end of March. 

For weekend updates on all our teams, visit the individual team pages here. 


Congratulations USAV Nationals Teams!

The Midwest Penguins teams competed at a very high level at this year's USAV Junior Girls National Tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

All athletes and coaches represented the organization well, and we could not be more proud of their dedication and commitment. 


Check out our teams' final standings here. 

Penguins look ahead to 20th anniversary Season

"Our teams are literally crushing it this year at Nationals. We couldn't be more proud of these athletes and their coaches. Keep it up ladies. 

Their success is a testament to all the hard work you've ALL put in to help make Midwest Penguins great. 

As we wrap up this season, we're looking ahead to next year- Our 20th ANNIVERSARY as a club. 

Wow. We can't hardly believe it. It feels like just yesterday we put together our first team. 

This club has brought so many great people together- incredible athletes, coaches, parents... incredible friends... an incredible family. 

We're so glad each and every one of you has been a part of our journey- and we ask that you help us remember. 

Please share with us your Penguin memories. Post your past team photos to our Page, tag your friends and invite them to share, or just send us an email 

As we look ahead to our 20th Anniversary we'll be looking for your ideas for a reunion. 

The Penguin family has always been a close one, and this year we're looking to celebrate what has helped make Midwest Penguins great. 


With love, 
Anne & Janice

Big Ball Bash 2017

Registration is now open for The Midwest Penguins Annual Big Ball Bash. 

This year's event will take place on two weekends, 

Friday May 5th & Friday May 12th, 2017
Teams can select which evening they'd like to play. 

The event is open to anyone willing to accept the challenge, and take on the 4-foot ball! 

Proceeds from the event will benefit E.C.H.O., a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of healthy living, and Midwest Penguins team headed to 2017 Nationals. 

SIGN UP your  team for a night of FUN, LAUGHS, & FRIENDS



CPR & AED Awareness Week June 1- 7

In 2007, the AHA in coalition with the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council worked collaboratively to designate a National CPR and AED Awareness Week federally. On December 13, 2007, Congress unanimously passed a resolution to set aside June 1-7 each year as National CPR and AED Awareness Week to spotlight how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED.

Most people make the mistake of assuming only older individuals and adults need to worry about sudden cardiac arrest. In fact, according to research conduct by the Heart Rhythm Society, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes. Most often, the death occurs during athletic training or competition.

Midwest Penguins is committed to helping fight this cause. Coaches, bystanders and our athletes can be the  key to preventing deaths as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.

In 2017, Midwest Penguins, in partnership with E.C.H.O, Empowering Change through Healthy Opportunities donated an Automatic Electronic Difibrilator (AED) with funds raised from our annual Big Ball Bash to Center Court Sports Complex. 

Tragically, the AED came in handy last Autumn.  A young man collapsed in the gym while playing volleyball during a Friday night open play. Thanks to the assistance of a trained by-stander, and the presence of the AED, the young man's life was saved. 

You too can help. This week we encourage you to make sure your workplace has an AED. Take steps to learn hands free CPR and be confident in your ability to take action when necessary. We've added some resources on the right, and will continue the conversation throughout the week.