Softball tournament raises over $1,500 for Relay for Life

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Area men and women did not let the rain or the heat stop them from participating in a benefit softball tournament Saturday, Aug. 24.

The tournament, scheduled to begin on Friday evening, was delayed because of rain. The opening ceremony was moved to Saturday morning.

The tournament was held to raise funds for the Buffalo Island Relay for Life for Cancer.

Ten teams took part in the tournament in spite of the high temperatures on Saturday.

Each team paid $100 entry fee with all of the proceeds going for the Relay for Life.

The women's teams included Clark's Auto, Intimidators, Pink Ladies, Fumble Bees and BIC Lady Mustang 14 and Under.

Men's teams included Southworth, Has Beens, Mean Street Posse, Bad Street Boys and Adam's Army.

The tournament was dedicated to several local people that are fighting cancer. Mary Murray of Manila, Nikki Brown of Gosnell, Pat Murphy of Manila, and Larry Garnner of Gosnell. Games were kicked off by these four throwing out the first ball.

Nikki Brown is17 years old and is presently undergoing chemotherapy. She was signed up to play with the Clark's Auto Women's team when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her sister, Penney Brown, and cousin, Jennifer Gonzalas, both play on the team that is coached by her uncle Bruce Brown. Nikki was also able to participate by taking a turn at bat during one of the games and coaching first base.

Members of the Clark's Auto Team team purchased tee-shirts for their team that read, "Clark's Auto Sale salutes Nikki, 2002 Manila Tournament." Each team member signed Nikki's shirt and presented it to her.

"It was a great tournament for a great cause," Director Darrell Birmingham said. "We had a lot of volunteers. Due to the rain we had to bring in dirt for Saturday's games and Shane Birmingham worked overtime getting the fields ready. Scott Townsend, Mike Hembrey, and Jessie Hall, along with other volunteers, gave their time to umpire the games. Twelve area merchants donated to the tournament and donations were taken at the gate. The community really came together to make it successful."

Members of the first and second place winning teams were given tee-shirts.

Winning in the Women's division were Pink Ladies, second place; and BIC Lady Mustangs, 14 and under, first place.

In the men's division The Bad Street Boys won second place and Adam's Army won first place.

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