Travis Roy Foundation 2020 WIFFLE Ball Tournament

2020 WIFFLE Fundraising Site

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Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Fundraiser Still On For 2020, Will Shift To New Format This Summer

June 4, 2020

Contact: Bruce Bosley (bosleyb@comcast.net)

Social Media: #TRFwiffle

As a result of Vermont safety restrictions on travel and events due to COVID-19, the annual Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tournament and fundraiser will move to a different format this year. The 19th annual fundraiser is still on and will be away from Little Fenway, Little Wrigley and Little Field of Dreams in Essex, Vermont with several fundraisers throughout the summer and a virtual event on on August 7-8-9, 2020.

Through social media (#TRFwiffle), members of the 32-teams and any others will be able to participate in virtual WIFFLE Ball challenges that will be introduced over the month of June.  The goal is to create WIFFLE Ball initiatives to keep participants, teams and fundraisers connected virtually, and inspire new people, young and old, to discover the work of the foundation while taking a swing at a WIFFLE Ball this summer.

The fundraising goal for this year is ambitious, and will look to add on to the 18-year total of just over $6 million, that goes to the Travis Roy Foundation that benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries. It is named after the former Boston University men’s hockey player who resides with his family in nearby Mallets Bay in Colchester each summer. Travis is a survivor of a spinal cord injury that occurred in his first shift in his first BU game 25 years ago this October.

“This COVID-19 era does not spare quadriplegics and paraplegics,” said Travis Roy, the inspirational leader behind the foundation and event.  “Paralyzed spinal cord injury survivors are especially vulnerable during this time. Thanks to the TRF WIFFLE Ball family’s fundraising success over the years, right now the foundation can continue to support paralyzed people with equipment to help keep them safe, healthy, and connected. Medical research is also being funded so that progress does not stop. To keep the Travis Roy Foundation mission going strong, your friendship, creativity, and support is needed now more than ever.”

The fundraising will culminate in a virtual presentation on the weekend of August 7-8-9, 2020 that will be broadcast live via the Pack Network. ‘Vintage’ games and highlights will be shown with commentary and remarks by participants of the teams along with interviews with celebrities from the sports and entertainment world. The annual remarks by Roy will wrap up the weekend.

Sponsorship opportunities for the fundraising weekend are still available. A full broadcast schedule and internet links will be announced closer to the event. Pack Network has aired the event since 2010.

 

Recap of 2019’s record-shattering tournament:

Pack Network Streaming Video Link

2019 Tournament Schedule

Media contact: Bruce Bosley (e-mail: bosleyb@comcast.net)
Social Media: #TRFwiffle or #TRFwiffle19

ESSEX, VT –  A record-shattering fundraising effort that exceeded the previous mark by over $100,000 as well as great fun and competitive action on the field highlighted the 18th annual Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tournament that was held this past weekend, August 9-11, 2019 at Little Fenway, Little Wrigley and Little Field of Dreams in Essex, Vermont.

The 32-team event raised a staggering $745,000 topping the previous high set of $617,634 last year to lift the 18-year total to just under $6 million. It also is the fifth time in the last six years the Vermont backyard event has brought in well over a half-million dollars. 

All funds go to the Travis Roy Foundation that benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries, and is named after the former Boston University men’s hockey player who resides with his family in nearby Mallets Bay in Colchester each summer.

‘It’s so incredible what goes on here,18 years we have been doing this. There are so many pieces to the puzzle and stories of the magic that goes on here,’ said Roy in giving thanks to all involved at the money count announcement at Little Fenway on Saturday.

‘We are in a ‘cow field’ in Essex, Vermont, not in Manhattan, raising $700,000, just about $6 million. The numbers are staggering and I hope you feel this when I say it, it’s because of all of you. You get excited about the WIFFLE ball and holding that yellow bat in your hands but you also have a pride in how you care about what we are doing here, and have that hope for a better day. You guys give me and all of us that are dealing with paralysis the energy to know that people want to see that better day and it also leads to the research and the funding we need. Thanks to everyone involved in raising the money and putting on this fantastic event. It’s because of you, the people who have been coming year after year, that we have this hope for a better life. I truly would like to thank everyone that’s part of this great family.’

The tournament is played annually on the three quarter-scale replicas of three of the nation’s iconic ballparks developed by tournament founders Pat and Beth O’Connor, now maintained by the Travis Roy Foundation 

The action on the field was highlighted by HOTDAM, one of the seven original teams out of Williston, VT, capturing its fourth championship defeating the Juggernauts of Rutland, VT in the title game. HOTDAM’s John Lenhart of Bayside, NY, a long-time participant, was named tournament MVP. Other exceptional performances on the field included the tournament’s first no-hitter tossed by Cougar Nation’s Keith Carter of Underhill, VT.

Others recognized with annual awards were Will Sleeper of Wellesley, MA and the Boston Terriers earning the Tommy Long Sportsmanship Award and Saul Skrocki of Cougar Nation and South Burlington, VT earned the Kim Trahan Fundraising Leadership Award.  By raising just under $60,000, the Hardshells of Maine, boyhood friends of Travis Roy’s from Yarmouth, Maine, won the Fan Club Award as the top fundraising team. Also with over $50,000 this year, the Boston Beef were recognized for going over the one-million-dollar mark in its 18 years participating in the tourney. A pair of longtime tournament organizers, Tim Gendron of Essex Junction, VT and Bruce Bosley of South Burlington, were inducted into the Little Fenway Hall of Fame for their years of exemplary volunteer service. 

The tournament kicked off Friday with the opening ceremonies and the annual Celebrity-Sponsor game. Award-winning journalist Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe and ESPN headlined the celebrities that also featured former big league hurler Bill Lee. Others included current UVM all-conference goalie Stefanos Lekkas, award-winning baseball author Glenn Stout of Alburgh, Miss Vermont USA Bethany Garrow of Rutland, Vermont Lake Monsters general manager Joe Doud, UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman as well as local media members Alex Abrami of the Burlington Free Press, Jack Fitzsimmons of WCAX TV, and Jackie Pascale and Ken Drake of WPTZ TV. Dave Mullany, CEO of Wiffle Inc. and grandson of the inventor of WIFFLE ball, was recognized on Saturday.

 

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Brick sales are OPEN for Little Fenway’s 2020 installation. Thank you for thinking ahead. Purchases made now will be installed for the 2020 season. 

Click here for the Pack Network’s WIFFLE Ball Tournament Video page, live and archived games. For the Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tournament YouTube Channel, please click here.