In my quest to continue to find the good in baseball this Angels season, I didn’t need to look any further than my good friends and supporters over at AngelsWin.com and their 2013 Summer FanFest.
This annual gathering during the regular season is always a great way to bring together the many fans who whine, cry, argue and celebrate together online at AngelsWin.com over our beloved Halos.
Besides being able to connect with these great fans in real life, my favorite part of this event is the fundraising they’ve incorporated into their fun-filled weekend for one of my favorite organizations, the Orange County Miracle League.
I’ve written plenty about the OC Miracle League in this space, but if you aren’t familiar with this great organization, they provide kids with disabilities in our community the chance to play the game of baseball. Run tirelessly by Steel and Debbie Morris and countless volunteers, they take the field each spring and fall at Pioneer Park in Anaheim on a diamond specifically designed for barrier-free play.
These kids get to play the game all kids their age should be able to play. No matter their ability.
And the smiles on their faces as they round the bases and cross home plate never cease to amaze me.
This year, AngelsWin.com really outdid themselves with their fundraising efforts. They got the weekend kicked off with their 1st Annual AngelsWin Golf Tournament held at San Juan Hills Golf Club, where 32 golfers came out to support these wonderful kids. Over $1000 was raised at that event alone.
The next day, the 7th Annual AngelsWin Softball Tournament took place at Pioneer Park, where Angels television play-by-play broadcaster Victor Rojas, and Riley Breckenridge from the band Thrice, were a part of four teams that vied for the championship.
Kids and families from the OC Miracle League were there as well, including eight-year-old Cael Studebaker, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch in the tournament. In addition to this honor, Cael was a guest the previous evening of The Sons of Baseball, who took Cael and his family down on the field at Angel Stadium for batting practice and the chance to meet some of his favorite Angels, including slugger Mark Trumbo. This amazing kid had himself quite the weekend.
After the softball tournament wrapped up, fans gathered under the Big A for a tailgate party and raffle. Angels Vice President of Communications, Tim Mead, was on hand and spoke to the over 150 fans who attended. Fantastic prizes donated by Sarah Colonna, Chelsea Handler and the Angels organization (including a Chris Iannetta signed bat and a Jered Weaver signed baseball) were raffled off to some happy fans.
In all, AngelsWin.com raised $3,072.00 for the OC Miracle League. I was overwhelmed with joy when I found this out….
But wait!! There’s more!!
Angels pitcher Jerome Williams and his family generously agreed to match that amount, bringing the grand total raised to $6144.00!
So, so incredible, right?
The OC Miracle League is a fee free league, so all the funds raised will go directly to making sure that these inspiring kids get the chance to play the game they love. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
The following day, the kids and families of the OC Miracle League took in some Angels baseball at the Big A, but not before spending some time “under the hats” with Angels television broadcasters Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza before the two went on the air.
Meeting Victor and Gubi was a real treat. And for some of these kids, it was the first time they had been to the stadium for an Angels game. I can guarantee you the final score mattered little to them. They were just happy to be there.
So a weekend full of AngelsWin.com and OC Miracle League goodness left me inspired and grateful for the wonderful community of Angels fans we have here and across the country.
Big thanks to Chuck Richter and everyone at AngelsWin.com, Jerome Williams, Victor Rojas, the Angels organization, and all who contributed in supporting the OC Miracle League in some way. Your generosity is forever appreciated.
See? Even in an Angels season like this, there’s plenty of good happening in baseball.
#AngelsFamily, you are awesome.
For a more in-depth recap of the weekend’s festivities, including more photos and video, visit AngelsWin.com
**Golf Tournament photos courtesy of Ellen Bell
**Tailgate Party photos courtesy of AngelsWin.com
**Photo of Cael Studebaker with Mark Trumbo courtesy of Clint Studebaker