Submitted by the Travis Roy Foundation
One of top late-summer events in the Green Mountain State, the Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tournament, will be held again on August 9-11, 2019 (Friday-Sunday) in Essex, Vermont. Held for the 18th time, the 32-team tourney nicknamed the ‘Best Weekend of The Year’ will take place at Little Fenway, Little Wrigley and Little Field of Dreams, quarter-scale replicas of the three iconic ballparks. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
Last year’s tourney raised a record $617,634 to push the all- time fundraising total to well over the $5 million mark through its first 17 years. Started by Pat and Beth O’Connor in 2002, all funds from the annual backyard classic go to the Travis Roy Foundation that benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries. The foundation is named after the former Boston University men’s hockey player who resides with his family in nearby Mallets Bay in Colchester each summer.
The tournament opens on Friday afternoon, August 9 with the opening ceremonies at Little Fenway featuring the annual Celebrities-Sponsor game at 5:30 p.m. Highlighting this year’s celebrity team will be award-winning Boston Globe sportswriter and ESPN contributor Bob Ryan.
Friday night also features games at all three field starting at 6 p.m. and well as a full slate of games, Saturday features the annual Money Count Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. with the tournament running through the playoffs and championship game on Sunday afternoon. The 32 teams are filled for the tourney but in addition to the action on the field, many other events will be held throughout the weekend including a silent auction, many raffles, great food, a free kid’s WIFFLE ball game and a special kid’s tent Saturday that features face painting, games and other contests. Saturday also feature a pair of Scooter’s Pretzels Home Run Derbies that are open to the public for a donation.
The lifeblood of the Travis Roy Foundation has been the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations across North America, and this event has become the foundation’s largest annual fundraiser. This generosity has made an immediate impact on the lives of many individuals. Since the 2017 tournament, the foundation has committed close to million dollars to fund spinal cord injury research in addition to adaptive equipment grants to enhance the lives of people and families affected by spinal cord injuries.
Donations and team pledges for the 32-team tourney can be made at the site and online at the official website of the tournament.
The Blue Bulls, a longtime participant from Rutland, Vt., captured its first-ever title last year in thrilling walk-off fashion in defeating the Staten Island Yankees in extra innings of the championship game.
For the eighth straight year, tournament action will be streamed live on the internet on the Pack Network. The opening ceremonies and celebrity-sponsor game, Saturday’s money count ceremony and Sunday’s title game will be aired live as well as game action from Little Fenway and live look-ins from the other fields throughout the weekend.
The ’Fantasy WIFFLE’ fundraiser also is back for its fourth year. Fantasy WIFFLE is where fans and supporters can create their own ‘fantasy’ WIFFLE ball team based on participants in the previous TRF WIFFLE ball tournaments. All funds go to the tournament and the winner of 2019 Fantasy WIFFLE will win a fabulous prize. Log on to www.fantasywiffle.com for more details and to enter.
For more information on the Travis Roy Foundation, visit: www.travisroyfoundation.org.