Local fans play volleyball with the Jonas Brothers

Before Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers ruled the pop scene. Brothers Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas filled the airwaves with hits like “S.O.S.” and “Hold On.” The band has toured all over the world since their debut in 2007, according to the band’s website, and sold a combined 20 million units throughout the world and earned over 40 Gold and Platinum records.

Aimee Dobry of La Grange and Angelina Gradilla of Brookfield have cumulatively seen the Jonas Brothers in concert 23 times. They have met them a total of 9 times, and now they can say they have played volleyball against them. 

These diehard fans won the Kiss FM Jonas Brothers Contest on July 8, giving them the chance to play volleyball against the Jonas Brothers at Castaways Bar & Grill in Chicago. The girls heard about this concert from a tweet on the Jonas Brothers’ Twitter account.

Along with their friend Nicole Sievers of Brookfield and her younger sister Danielle, the girls arrived at Castaways Bar & Grill around 9 a.m. July 8 to complete a scavenger hunt to be entered into a raffle to play against the band.

The girls were given photos of the boys at the Bean, Buckingham Fountain and the Ferris wheel at Navy Park. Each team had to visit the sites, take a picture replicating the poses of the band and return by 1 p.m. When the scavenger hunt began, it started pouring rain, Dobry said.

Sievers drove the girls in the pouring rain to each location. Dobry and Gradilla would take a picture at the site, Sievers would take a picture with Dobry, then Sievers would take a picture with her sister. This way the girls had a better chance of winning the contest with more entries.

When the group returned to Castaways Bar & Grill and Dobry’s ticket number was called, she said she did not believe it. When Dobry finally realized she had won, she said she began to cry and ran at the Kiss FM representative.

“They were so happy at how genuinely happy she was,” Gradilla said.

For the two tickets that were picked, each winner could choose one friend to play with them. The girls had agreed to pick a friend’s name at random if any of them won. Dobry picked Gradilla’s name, and the two had the opportunity to play with two other winners against the three Jonas Brothers.

The fans won two of the three games, beating the Jonas Brothers.

“Volleyball just wasn’t their sport,” Gradilla said. “ But I think they kind of let us win.”

The girls had some experience, too. Gradilla and Dobry played volleyball when they attended Lyons Township High School.

Before going to their concert July 10, the girls got to see the Jonas Brothers again after their interview with radio station B96. Gradilla said Nick remembered her name and Joe said she was a very talented volleyball player.

The concert was held at Northerly Island on July 10, kicking off the band’s first tour in three years. During the concert, the Jonas Brothers performed four songs from their new, unreleased album.

Gradilla and Dobry have known each other since they attended Park Junior High, and have enjoyed going to concerts, listening to music and meeting the Jonas Brothers together.

“It brings our friend group together,” Gradilla said. “It’s always a good time when the Jonas Brothers are in town.”

Even though Gradilla attends the University of Illinois and Dobry attends Grand Valley State University in Michigan, they were glad to be able to share their passion.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Gradilla said. “Not many people can say they have played volleyball against the Jonas Brothers.”