On Sunday morning, the soaked baseball fields at Rock Creek Park threw a wrench into the inaugural Win for the Warriors baseball tournament, but that didn’t stop the North Georgia Ambush 9U team from raising more than $11,000 to support the For The Warriors Foundation.
The coaches and volunteers arrived at Rock Creek Park at 7 a.m. March 10 and quickly realized the fields would be too wet to play any games. Ultimately the tournament was postponed for a later date in April or May.
Organizers worked to relocate the festivities inside the gym at Veterans Memorial Park so that they could continue with the ceremony to honor military service veterans.
“It’s been a day of contacting everyone and trying to figure out what we can do best just to make this work,” North Georgia Ambush coach Chris Marcotte said. “You live, you learn. This is our first annual so (we’ll) probably push this later into the summer next time.”
The Win for the Warriors tournament was organized by volunteer Kimberly Maloney as a way to raise money for the For The Warriors Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to assist disabled military service members as they integrate back into society and attempt to live a rewarding, fulfilling and productive life.
Each member of the Ambush team was assigned a wounded veteran with whom they had corresponded prior to the tournament. The players honored their veterans by wearing the veteran’s name on their jersey in place of their own.
Though a day-long tournament between several teams was scheduled, the assembled players and veterans made the best of the weather and decided to play whiffle ball indoors, giving the participants a chance to come together and have fun.
“At this point it doesn’t really matter whether we play or not,” Head Coach Blake Dotson said. “We did what we were trying to do which was to raise money for the foundation.”
After an opening ceremony and a few rounds of whiffle ball, the team presented the veterans of the foundation a check for $11,716.58.
“The best part was we actually connected a majority of the boys with their veteran today, their warrior, and they’ve got lifelong partners that can call them and go to their karate belt promotions, baseball games,” Dotson said.