By guest blogger: Andrew Green
Girls softball teams from Florida and Georgia will be coming to Palm Beach this weekend to compete in the first annual ‘Angels 4 Autism’ tournament, with proceeds going to Autism Research.
The girls, ages 8 to 15 from 47 teams sponsored by the USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association), Delray Beach, Blue Angels Team and Lake Lytal / Palm Beach county Parks and Recreation Department. This first ever event started with an idea from 13 year old Sarah Green, a Blue Angels player who wanted to design and sell T-Shirts for Autism charity in April (National Autism Awareness Month). Sarah’s brother, Alex, 8, is diagnosed with Autism.
Sarah brought the idea to her coach, Marco Spells, who thought a tournament would be a better idea. He then brought the idea to Gordon Patterson (the USSSA Florida state director), who enthusiastically set it up. Coach Spells added the name, “Angels 4 Autism”, The original shirt design was changed to add the new name, and everything was ready to go. “We just had no idea it would be so popular”, said Coach Spells. “Most first time tournaments have 20-25 teams sign up. This tournament had over 20 in the first week, and it kept growing”.
It doesn’t stop there. Mr. Patterson sent the idea and logo design to other USSSA State directors throughout the country. There are now 11 Angels 4 Autism tournaments in 7 states (Florida, Georgia x 4, Indiana, Louisiana x 2, Virginia, Texas and Washington State. All together more than 300 teams from across the country will be playing this coming month, expanding both information and donations to Autism charities locally and nationally.
Alex is happy to be part of the coin toss and always smiles when he sees his picture in the program. For Sarah, who’ll be giving a speech in the opening ceremonies on April 1st, it’s a dream come true.
We invite all those families who live with Autism and those who support this worthwhile cause, as well as those who just want to see extremely talented fastpitch softball players to come out for 30 minutes or the day, read our program and celebrate the first day of Autism Awareness Month with fun, food and serious excitement. All children on the Autism Spectrum will be given a tournament –T-shirt and will be able to throw out a first pitch (to be scheduled in advance- call Andrew Green 954-789-9987, or Gordon Patterson – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.angels4autism-tournaments.org
Opening Ceremonies: 8:30 am only at Seminole Palms Park-
Games start at 9:00 am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm and 7:30pm – Address: : 151 Lamstein Ln, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Lake Lytal Park
Games Start at: 9:00 am, 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm and 7:30pm – Address: : 151 – Address: 3645 Gun Club Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Okeeheelee Park: Games start at: 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm and 7:30pm – Address 7715 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33413