As many of you heard in church this past Sunday, 24 Sept, we done good with our Fund Raising Tournament to help send our children to Camp Crucis for this next upcoming summer. 100% of the exact amount will not be known for about a week, but we should clear (after umpire and scorekeeper fees) approximately $1200. On top of that, everyone witnessed me getting little chocked up in front of the church, but when my little brother offered to assist by giving $1,000 to a church and cause that he has no affiliation with, it kinda made me extremely emotional. God is good in so many ways.

 The tournament had grown by only 2 teams this year, but those 2 additional teams were the difference of small income to rather larger. It also allowed some of our youth…Alex, Eli, Tiffany & Rose….to go around and hit the ballplayers where it hurts that most, their pockets and purses. These great kids walked around selling tickets for some pretty good prizes in the heat and windy conditions at the ballpark.

There were a few minor issues throughout the day, but overall, not many of the teams complained of umpires or lack of fun in the tournament. The big winner of the day was a team called “WE SUCK”, which they did not at all. They cruised through the Winner’s Bracket fairly easily, challenged by a couple of teams but still continuing in the Winner’s side of the house. Probably one of the best games of the afternoon was between 2 teams, 4 Play & The Outsiders (I CAN’T MAKE THIS UP, SERIOUSLY). They were battling back and forth until the end, which The Outsiders came through with the win by 3 runs. It was only their 8th game of the day, 7th in a row. Now they get the chance to play for 2 games if they could beat the team of We Suck. As their 9th game is ready to start, you could almost tell they were running strictly on fumes to even get into the final game (or 2 if they could win).

We Suck decided they were going to put up about 8 runs in the first inning and this continued until the 4th inning when the final score was pretty one-sided, in favor of the champions, We Suck. They had scored 25+ runs to only 4 of the Outsiders. But even the 2nd place finishers said thanks to the kids for their being out there and they had a fantastic time with playing in our charity tournament. Even to the point of looking forward to next year’s tournament, which I will try and hold in the spring.

There are so many loving people in our church that made it so easy for me to keep our umpires feed and hydrated. Please know everything that was done for the umpires and cleanup, I and my fellow umpires appreciate from each and every one of you.

Not even sure where to start, but I will try. If I forget anyone, please know you are loved and I am not leaving anyone out on purpose. I wasn’t even sure the tournament was going to be playing until Wednesday afternoon, which the actual cut-off was Tuesday evening….so as I mentioned in church, FRUSTRATION was a very mild description of how I was feeling. Once I had enough teams, now is when I called Beverly, Sandy, anyone I could get in touch with to help me get out of this Panic Mode. Not just for the items for the umpires and scorekeepers, but also needed a rather large check for the city to get this all paid for at the softball complex.

So, Sandy, Barbara L., Jan, Helen, Beverly, I know I can always count on the ladies of this church to pitch in for anything that is needed, especially for our youth. Then there’s the MOGS that never cease to amaze me with their ability to drop just about anything to help me and I love all of you for that…..Father Brian, Eddie, Rick, and Forster, I thank you for helping me with cleanup and bringing the many unused food back to the church to be used at Generations or helping those less fortunate.

A good tournament can happen just about any weekend, but a GREAT TOURNAMENT takes some time and effort and without you guys to assist me, the tournament would not have been as great as it was.

So until the next softball tournament, which I am hoping to have in the spring, that way our supply, will not run out for our kids. I have received calls already from a couple of teams that didn’t play this past weekend, because of the way it was run, which reflects back to those that pitched in to help me in all areas.  So It looks like the word is already out about having a tournament again in the spring with more teams…….what a wonderful blessing. Thanks be to God for this blessing.

Yours in Christ,  POP Crase