In the spirit of “paying it back,” a local firefighter has founded a charity softball game started four years ago is continuing to grown with the community’s support.
This year, the Fourth Annual Breast Cancer Charity Softball game featuring the Avon police and firefighters against their Avon Lake counterparts, will be held on Saturday, July 14 at .
The event has its roots in a friendly cross-track rivalry game between the
“It was a family get together and picnic,” John Gansor, who founded the modern-day fundraiser four years ago.
That changed four years ago when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Six months later, another Avon firefighter’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Gansor was impressed with the treatment his wife received during treatment.
“The she care received at Fairview Hospital was nothing short of impeccable,” Gansor said.
He thought a charity softball game with proceeds going to Fairview would be a way to pay it back, but realized he needed help.
Gansor approached the local firefighters union, IAFF 4310, as well as Avon Fire Chief Frank Root and Mayor Jim Smith about approaching the and turning the event into a fundraiser.
“It got to the point where the event was getting so big,” Gansor said. “What we wanted to do as a union and fire department and city is host an event where women and their families could spend the evening at a fun event.”
The event also draws many from the community and highlight the importance of fighting breast cancer.
“I was ignorant to breast cancer as a whole,” he said. “I’ve see first hand what a woman goes through. It’s horrible to go through as family but worse for the women.”
The public is invited to the event that will feature special-order pink baseballs and bases. And the umps? They’ll be pretty in pink as well.
The game will start at 7 p.m.
As a result of the fundraiser, the union was able to donate $25,000 to the Breast Health Center of the Moll Pavilion at Fairview Hospital last year.
This year, with Mercy Hospital also signed on as a sponsor, a portion of the funds will go there.
Visitors to the game can expect a full “pro baseball” experience. The snack bar will be open and beer will be available for purchase. Following the game will be a fireworks display.
“It’s run like a Crushers game,” Gansor said. “It’s a nine-inning game. We’ll be selling shirts also to raise money and there will be a 50/50 raffle. It’ll be very family friendly."
Get your tickets now
Tickets can be purchased at Avon Police Department, 36145 Detroit Road, 440-934-1234; Avon Fire Department, 36185 Detroit Road, 440-934-1222; Avon Lake Police Department, 32855 Walker Road, 440-933-4567; Avon Lake Fire Department, 32811 Walker Road, 440-933-3739 or at the stadium on the day of the game.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Contact John Gansor at 440-309-7173 or via email at email@example.com for more information.