Toys for Tots softball tournament spreads Christmas cheer
SAINT JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- You may not have heard of the magic of Christmas starting on the softball diamond, but that’s where volunteer softball players from the Michiana area came together at Boehm Park in South Bend for a cheerful cause; for the annual Toys for Tots Ugly Christmas Sweater Draft Tournament!
“It’s a magical time of year, and we want to help spread that magic,” says Mike Curry, the tournament coordinator. “We got about 90 people to sign up then we help draft, kind of like fantasy football drafts, so a lot of times you don’t know who you’re playing with, you meet new people so it’s a lot of fun.”
To add to the Christmas spirit, players traded in their jerseys for ugly Christmas sweaters.
“We have a contest where the winner will take home this trophy right here, who gets voted for the ugliest sweater, and it’s just something fun to add to the mix of the day,” Curry explains.
It’s all done to make sure children are able to have a Christmas. Nearly $25,000 and over 100 toys were collected from the tournament and will be donated to Toys for Tots, a charity that distributes toys to children whose parents can’t afford Christmas gifts.
“It’s not a kid’s fault, I can’t imagine coming out to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning and seeing absolutely nothing,” says Curry.
Even with a sheet of ice covering the diamond and temperatures touching the low 20’s, players braved the cold and played their best ‘for the kids’.
“They don’t give up on me, I put it out a week and a half ago, I said, ‘It’s going to be terrible; do you guys want to play or not?’ and they’re like ‘This is for the kids, we’re doing it,’” Curry says. “It’s all about meeting new people, coming out and playing, and helping a cause.”
Teams came to a unanimous decision to call the tournament early due to heavy snowfall Saturday, but the grand total for donations is around $24, 750 going towards making Christmas happen for under-privileged children.
If you want to help join the cause, you can find more information on their Facebook page.