Wiffle Ball Tourney: Local Lions go to Little Fenway

Knocking around with a bat and ball in a neighbor’s back yard in a fun game of wiffle ball with friend — what great summertime activity. Play the game on a field that is a one-fourth scale replica of Boston’s Fenway Park and the fun is that much greater. Make it a fundraising tournament and the activity takes on added depth.
The Striders, a team sponsored by the Middlebury Lions Club, late last month competed in the eighth annual SLAM T1D Vermont Summer Classic Wiffle ball Tournament in Essex at the venue known as “Little Fenway” and helped the event raise $72,035 toward the fight against Type 1 diabetes. The team, captained by Lions Paul Desabrais and Jesse Gillette, also reached the championship game among the 14 teams competing before earning second place with a loss to “The Garage” in the final. No one was more surprised by the Striders’ high finish than the team organizers. “Last Tuesday our roster was just Jesse and I; placing 2nd wasn’t even a thought,” Desabrais said.
LION KEN EMERY gets ready to test his swing against the replica Green Monster.
Courtesy photo
As well as Desabrais and Gillette, the Lions Striders team included a number of former standout athletes at Middlebury Union High School, including Carsyn Buxton (softball) and Makayla Foster (softball and field hockey). Other team members were Lion Past District Governor Ken Emery, Jordan Broughton, Lilah Desabrais, Charlie Desjadon, Derek Gero, Kate Moyer, Kevin O’Rourke, Justin Raymond, David Roy, Loriann Roy, Chelsea Trombley, Amanda Warren, Brett Warren and Don Welch.
The captains reported some really good play, even though the focus of the game was fun and fundraising. For instance, they said Chelsea Trombley was a guaranteed base earner and outstanding fielder. Charlie Desjadon “had wings in the outfield and many awesome diving catches.” Third baseman Justin Raymond was not only a good fielder but also a good batter, making it to first based reliably.  His game play was incredible.
Some Striders pose with members of The Garage, which beat the Striders in the championship game.
Courtesy photo
There were plenty of Lions in attendance to cheer on all the competitors and enjoy the day. The entire event was so enjoyable that Paul Desabrais and Jesse Gillette almost immediately started discussing how they can improve their fundraising — and the Middlebury Lions’ batting average — for next year. 
Little Fenway is a unique replica of the home of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox, and it’s plunked down in the backyard of Pat and Beth O’Connor’s house in Essex. Built in 2001, it is used exclusively for wiffle ball games, often as fundraisers. So it was unsurprising that the local Lions ended up at the Essex venue. SLAM T1D is a nonprofit that raises funds to improve the lives of people living with Type 1 diabetes, or T1D.  They accomplish this by partnering with the Barton Center for Diabetes Education to host the Vermont Overnight Camp. They also work to broaden public awareness of diabetes and seek to empower suffers of T1Ds of all ages to advocate for themselves, develop optimal T1D-management regimens, and to live life in full.
And the Middlebury Lions team alone donated $4,385 toward the cause, according to organizers.
“The real winners are the kids who will benefit from our fundraising efforts,” Desabrais and Gillette said.

Share this story:

More News
US Probation Office Uncategorized

US Probation Office Request for Proposals

US Probation Office 2×1.5 062024 RFP

Middlebury American Legion Uncategorized

Middlebury American Legion Annual Meeting

Middlebury American Legion 062024 1×1.5 Annual Meeting

Sports Uncategorized

MAV girls’ lax nets two triumphs

The Mount Abraham-Vergennes cooperative girls’ lacrosse team moved over .500 with a pair o … (read more)

Share this story: