For the third year in a row, Casey’s and the community of Pilot Grove have rallied around one of their own. On Saturday, eight co-ed teams played in an all-day softball tournament at the Pilot Grove C-4 School to raise money so Evan Schupp and other children with muscular dystrophy could go to summer camp.
“Last year we raised enough money to send four children to camp,” manager of Pilot Grove Casey's Kathleen Pollard said.
At $800 per child, that’s a lot of community involvement. Justin Zeller organized the teams and arranged the schedule. Eric Kraus prepped and maintained the fields. Kim Townlain was credited with announcing and keeping score. Countless others played ball, coached, and worked the concession stand. Those not assigned to specific duties cheered their team on to victory.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Pollard said.
Evan arrived at noon and had the satisfaction of seeing his team, Team Evan, defeat Family Tradition. Following the game, Evan was presented with an MVP award and posed for pictures with his trophy and team members.
Schupp said he enjoyed the camp very much.
“We went swimming and played wiffle ball,” he said. “And Fred Bird came to visit.”
“The Cardinals mascot,” Schupp's father Terry explained. “Evan’s a big Cardinals fan.”
According to Schupp, camp lasts five days and four nights. He didn’t know any other kids who went, but said the money raised stayed as local as possible, certainly within the state.
“The community would like to continue the tournament as an annual event every third weekend in August. Teams are co-ed and the entry fee is $200 per team,” Pollard said.
Zeller said they would love to have more teams sign up.
“There are two fields and we’re willing to add Sunday and/or Friday evening to the schedule,” Zeller said.
When asked, Zeller said they’d start promoting the event earlier next year and teams could start signing up as early as next June.