Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tourney Surpasses Million-Dollar Level
ESSEX, Vt. — The 2010 Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament wrapped up Sunday and the annual event far exceeded its fundraising goal as the total money raised in the nine years of the event surpassed the million-dollar mark. The 24-team tournament, held August 6-8 at Little Fenway and Little Wrigley in Essex, generated $363,189 (as of 8/9/10) to bring the running nine-year total to $1,078,569 raised for the foundation that benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries.
“The financial numbers are unbelievable and I am eternally grateful to everyone involved for their support,’ said Travis Roy, the former Boston University men’s hockey player who resides with his family each summer in nearby Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain. “I’m also proud that the level of the competition, generosity and sportsmanship also reached the highest level.
“The best part of a number that big is that it has not changed the event as it grows. People have just as big a smile on their face now as they have every year. The tremendous hospitality from this community is a big part of why the popularity has grown. With that, the large number of people that come up here to share in this event has grown like the fundraising piece.”
“I am also real grateful for the outpouring of support from the people in our community and the many who have come from all over, said Pat O’Connor, who built the quarter-scale replicas of the two historic major league ballparks adjacent to his home. “After starting with just $4,000 nine years ago, and we were so happy we did that, to think we could raise a million dollars for such a great cause is staggering. I would like to tip my hat to our steering committee and all the volunteers for a great effort. These people still keep it a lot of fun.”
On the field, Mark Trahan’s sixth inning home run lifted the Comets Express to a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Staten Island Yankees to capture Sunday’s championship game. It is the second title for the Comets Express, a team from the Boston area who also were the 2004 champions. Staten Island was making its second straight appearance in the finals and its third overall. Despite suffering the title game loss on the mound, Staten Island captain Joe Tirone earned the 2010 Most Valuable Player Award.
Click here to watch a video of the championship game courtesy of the Pack Network: http://www.packnetwork.com/video/wiffleball/
For the fourth straight year the Boston Beef picked up the Fan Club Award as the team with the greatest fundraising effort ($65,807) while Curtis Esden of the Nite Feeders was the Fan Club Award individual leader ($12,260). Derek Wagar of Teleblend was the winner of the Tommy Long Sportsmanship Award.
The tournament opened with the annual Celebrity-Sponsor game contested at Little Fenway Friday evening. The Celebrities, who posted a 8-1 victory, were represented by Vermont governor James Douglas, former NHL great and U.S. Olympian Aaron Miller, former major league pitcher Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee, former UVM hoop standout Taylor Coppenrath, former UVM men’s hockey head coach and current Catamount women’s hockey assistant Mike Gilligan, JetBlue Airways President and CEO David Barger, Little Fenway Hall of Famer Steve Cormier, U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team members Amanda Pelkey and Melissa Bizzari, country singer Keeghan Nolan of Fairfield, Vt., local personality Rusty ‘The Logger’ Dewees, WCAX personalities Mike McCune and Tim Kavanagh and UVM student-athletes Teddy Fortin (women’s hockey) and Dave Ramada (men’s soccer).