NEW HAVEN — A benefit tournament with a unique name is quickly becoming a major county event in the fight against cancer.
The third annual “Kickin’ Cancer in the Balls” kickball tourney has been set for Aug. 27 at the New Haven Ball Fields.
This year’s benefit will begin at 7:15 a.m. and is the largest yet with 21 teams participating. All proceeds will go to Jackie Stewart, assistant director of nursing at Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH). Stewart is battling breast cancer and will use the money for medical and traveling expenses while undergoing treatment.
In the past two years, the tournament has raised over $11,000, according to Jared Long, who organizes the event with Dana Gillispie. Long said the tournament is very special to him.
“It means a lot to me because growing up, my mom was sick with breast cancer and I remember people supporting us,” said Long. “Jackie is a good friend of mine and always worries about helping others. I think it’s an awesome time to come together and help her.”
Long also participates in the tournament and said the motto of his team this year is “no one fights alone.”
Each kickball game will be 45 minutes in length, and each team must include 10 or more players, four of which must be female. The teams paid $125 to enter.
In addition to the games, Long said concessions will be sold. Food is being supplied by PVH and Farmers Bank. A number of raffles, including one for a ride on a Healthnet helicopter, will be held as well.
Long said there are several sponsors who have supported the tournament all three years. They include Fast-4-U, Phil’s Marathon, Farmers Bank, Ripley Auto Glass of Hartford, The Hut, Riverside Golf Course, and Doctors Hammack, Trent, and Crouch.
“The way our community comes together to help others is definitely inspiring,” Long said. “We want people to be aware, and to show up to watch and support the tournament. Community support inspires positive attitudes and outcomes.”
For more information, visit the event Facebook page at “3rd Annual Kickin Cancer in the Balls Kickball Tournament.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.