The 2nd annual Zachary Siegfried wiffle ball tournament was an overwhelming success. In the weeks and even days leading up to the tournament there was not one team signed up to play. The first team to sign up was a non-competitive team of 10 and 11 year old kids that went to school with Zach and his twin brother Kyle. From that point forward we knew that the event would be a success! We ended up with 22 competitive teams and 4 non-competitive teams. Paul Montgomery, a good friend of Kyle’s, came from Missouri to play on his team along with Kyle’s dad and some friends. A fraternity travelled from Valdosta, Georgia to play accompanied by a couple of beautiful girls from a campus sorority. There were firefighters competing against a high school baseball team and some big kids (The Shockers) playing against little kids (Palm Coast Crew). Teams arrived with some pretty cool shirts and creative names including Freak Sticks, Sweet Spot, Rabid Bunnies, Nozzle Heads, Shockers and Unstoppables to name a few.
We would like to give a shout out to some very special individuals who were at the tournament. For starters, there was Kyle Siegfried, Zachary’s twin brother, who captained the Ball Parks 4 Him team. We had some of the children and families we’ve helped, like Tyler Jacques with the Palm Coast Crew and Taylor Bushmen who played in the non-competitive division. There were also some stand out baseball kids taking their shot at wiffle ball like Darrell Whaley, Spruce Creek High School 2012 8A State Champion, and Zach Veen, 2011 National Champion 9u baseball. Of course no tournament can begin without the singing of our national anthem, and for that we called upon the beautiful voice of 12 year old Sophia Lauren Peper, who honored the tournament and the nation with an awesome performance.
There was plenty to do for the little ones who weren’t playing in the tournament. We had two bounce houses donated by Jumping Beans and Consession Service. There were two playgrounds on the property and Alexis LaRubbio was face painting under one of the shade tents that were setup. Spanos import cars brought a special Audi and a bunch of markers so kids and adults alike could draw pictures, slogans and things on the vehicle. Finally, for those who had it laid on their hearts to give the gift of life, the Big Red Bus was on site all day Saturday to accept blood donations. All the while the wiffle ball and other activities were going on there was something else happening right along with it. In the months leading up to the tournament, foundation president and Zach’s mom, Melissa Siegfried spent hours soliciting local businesses not only for the food and refreshments, but for prizes to give away during Saturdays game play. Now her hard work was paying off. She got to raffle off thousands of dollars in prizes to everyone who came out in support of our cause. The prizes ranged from items valued at just a few dollars all the way up to things like a Kindle Fire, a variety of camps and a Disney Family4Pack worth $480. Congrats to the winners and kudos to Missy for being persistent and dedicated enough to go out day after day and tell our story.
That brings us to the food. Thanks to some much appreciated generosity, we were able to provide free lunch and refreshments for all. The Pig Stand provided barbecued pulled pork, The Wing House provided wings and Scot (US Food Service) supplied 400 hot dogs. Frito Lay gave us several variety pack cases of chips, and Coke provided several cases of soda. Thanks to Walmart and the generosity of the employees of the Halifax blood bank, we had enough water to quench everyone’s thirst throughout the day. Pepsi kept the players hydrated with several cases of Gatorade, and between the Ice Hole and the Port Orange Firefighters we had enough ice to keep things cool all day. Aside from the food we received an incredible donation of sun block and lip balm from Hawaiian Tropic, which made the long hours of sun exposure no problem. If things were still a bit hot for you, Angel Hall provided hand fans for all.
By Sunday evening, just as the sun was disappearing, the tournament provided us with its champion; a great bunch of guys who came all the way from Valdosta State in Georgia to compete. However, the unsung champions of the weekend were all the friends and family that gave of themselves to help the event run smoothly from start to finish. Our family is truly blessed to have people in our lives willing to donate their time and energy because of there love for us and belief in the foundation that honors our son Zachary and provides aide to children who might otherwise miss out on an opportunity to play an organized sport. This tournament would not ever get off the ground without these gracious, hard working people. I will start by giving a huge shout of thanks to Pastor Jake Edwards. The wiffle ball tournament was an idea he had a couple of years ago that he turned into an amazing event for Ball Parks 4 Him. He not only designed the awesome fields behind the church, but spent a lot of time as the contact for the teams signing up, and he organized the team brackets for all the tournament play. We can’t thank him enough! As I mentioned, the fields were behind the church. Specifically that is the Port Orange Church of the Nazarene, our church home. We would like to thank the church for hosting the tournament and providing not only the outdoor grounds for the fields, but converting the sanctuary into a nicely air conditioned hall to dine and relax in out of the heat. On that note, we owe many thanks to our church family who stepped up and gave their time and effort setting up, working at and breaking down everything for the event. You guys are awesome and we love you all. We have to give a special shout out to the Lumous Day Youth Group who did most of the work converting the sanctuary. You guys are the greatest, and we always know we can count on you to be there with us. Keep shining your light! Again, I would say thank you to everyone who stuck it out through the heat, the rain delays, and two long but fun filled days, for making the 2nd Annual Zachary Siegfried Wiffle Ball Tournament a total success from start to finish.
Vice President Ball Parks 4 Him