Betsy grinned as she walked up to the plate. The announcer called her name and “Who Let the Dogs Out”, her walk-up song, came over the loud speakers. She tossed her bat like a pro – but it wasn’t after a game-winning hit. She just wanted to dance to her favorite song. Then, Betsy picked up her bat again and smashed a line drive.
Seeing the determination in Gabe’s face as he moved into the batter’s box, you’d think he was a big leaguer. After waiting for his perfect pitch, Gabe smacked one deep into the outfield, making his way around the bases faster than anyone else. The fact that he doesn’t have legs didn’t stop his grin as he crossed home plate.
Arie had a little help from her Camp buddy when it was her turn at bat. She wanted to try running the bases without her wheelchair, and her buddy was determined to make it happen. So, together, they hit one out of the park and made it all the way back to home.
It’s stories like these, filled with joy, laughter and optimism, that happen during Baseball Day - and every day - at Variety’s Adventure Camp. On June 20, 2018, fans of Variety gathered at Catch 22 Miracle Field in Chesterfield to watch three exhibition games played by our all-star campers, and to see these inspiring stories unfold for themselves.
The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame helped make the day possible – President Greg Maracek was there to show his support and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Announcer Ron Jacober lent his well-known voice as the play-by-play announcer. Jim Tullman, a St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame volunteer, joined us to coach our kids through their times at bat.
To make the game even more official, Bob Frishman, board member of the Greater St. Louis Association of Umpires, served as our umpire in full uniform. And Greater Midwest Baseball (GMB) donated a set of baseballs so that each camper could go home with their own.
The stands were filled with Variety supporters, cheering on our campers to victory. Dave Spence and Joe Castellano, Variety board members, and Tom Etling, Variety committee member, could be heard cheering from the dugout. And Variety Women Kimberly Browning Hoffman and Val Hofmann joined the kids on the field. YOP donors, NuMotion representatives Briahna and Candace, Variety parents and more also joined us.
To all who came out to support Adventure Camp on Baseball Day – your cheers and excitement encouraged each of our campers both on the field and off. Thanks for helping to make this day a home run!