Fundraiser organized to assist facility upkeep for growing program


GRAFTON— In an effort to maintain the facilities used to host several Taylor County ball teams, dedicated members of the community have organized a fundraising event to assist in the upkeep of the Grafton High School (GHS) softball field. 

Julie Dowdy, Gary Chambers and Andrea Chambers are all active in the growth of Taylor County softball, at both the youth and high school levels. As the sport of softball continues to gain popularity, this trio have taken initiative to find ways to accommodate the budding program. 

According to Dowdy, softball participant numbers have tripled over the last five years, meaning an increased need for funds that would allow these programs to operate more effectively, thus comes the creation of an event that will provide fun for the community, while also supporting the cause.

The first-ever Slow Pitch Co-Ed Softball Tournament fundraiser, is slated for Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12 at the GHS softball field and will showcase some friendly competition, raffles and more. 

Dowdy shared that the tournament will ideally boast eight teams, with all teams playing two games on Saturday. Contests on Saturday will determine each team’s ranking for Sunday’s games, which will be played as a single elimination bracket. 

“All teams are guaranteed to play three games and the two final teams that make it to the championship game will play a total of five games,” she disclosed. 

While the event is still in need of players, so far, the efforts have garnered much community support with 80 players, ranging in age from 16 to 71 years old, already registered to suit up and take to the field. 

Dowdy noted that it is the hopes of the organizers to have 100-120 players for the event. 

Those wishing to register may do so by visiting the event’s Facebook page, which can be found by searching Slow Pitch Co-Ed Softball Tournament.

 There, individuals will find a Venmo code that may be scanned with their smart phones to start the registration process. 

When registering in this manner, please be sure to note “player registration” and which team color you desire to play for; Red, Yellow, Black, Orange, Green, White, Blue or Gray. The fee for team entry is $25. 

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause may also follow the same steps, but rather than denoting player registration, list “donation” instead. 

The first pitch will be thrown on Saturday, at 9:00 a.m., with the final contest of the day concluding around 9:00 p.m.

And those on the field aren’t the only ones who can partake in the fun. Dowdy shared that spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend throughout the day. 

Concessions will be offered on both days of the tournament and there will also be three 50/50 drawings. The first drawing will take place on Saturday before 1:30 p.m., the second before 7:30 p.m. and the final will be drawn on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. 

All proceeds from the event will go to field maintenance for Taylor County youth softball programs. 

“With more players and more teams, we must keep Taylor County fields up to regulation, or we simply won’t have enough field time for everyone to play,” Dowdy voiced. “We never want to turn away a child who is excited to play a sport!” 

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