Homecoming weekend will provide an extra opportunity for returning El Campo alumni to do some good for their community at the second annual Strike Out Parkinson’s charity baseball and softball event.
Organized by El Campo teacher and Parkinson’s disease patient, Terri Quinn, Strike Out invites former Ricebird baseball and Ladybird softball players to participate in a day of activities in order to raise money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The first Strike Out event was held in March 2019. This year’s event was moved from early March to mid-September due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Other than the delayed date, the event won’t be too different than last year’s event, Quinn said.
“Our new date is actually homecoming weekend, so I think it’ll be a nice fit, with former classmates coming home,” Quinn said. “If it is successful, we will schedule each year during homecoming weekend.”
Last year, 47 Ricebird alumni participated and about $21,500 was raised after event expenses were covered. This year, Quinn hopes to collect at least $25,000. It costs $30 per player to participate in the charity game.
“We’re adding the softball women in this year,” Quinn said. “So anyone that’s participating has to have played Ricebird baseball or Ladybird softball … (Right now) I’ve only got about eight or nine women. I’m really trying to increase the women.”
Former Ladybirds will play on one field while former Ricebirds play on another at the park. Pitching machines will be used in the alumni games, so those participating do not have to worry about being rusty.
“No one will have to deal with curve balls or change-ups,” Quinn said. “It’s just a fun day to get together with former teammates.”
Although only former Ricebird baseball and softball players can participate in the field games, a raffle, silent auction, kids’ long ball competition and drive-through dinner will be held for the general public. If bad weather cancels the game, the activities will be held as drive-through events.
Quinn received her Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2015, and since then she has participated in charity runs and wanted to find a way to further contribute to research. She concocted the alumni baseball game idea based off of the impact sports have had on Quinn and her family. Quinn’s three sons played golf and baseball, and Quinn’s father, Buzzy Kieth, coached Ricebird baseball, basketball and football from 1970 to 1985.
“El Campo baseball was a big part of our family,” Quinn said.
More than 50 local businesses and individuals have sponsored this year’s event, so far. Quinn was born and raised in El Campo, and still teaches at El Campo ISD. Seeing the overwhelming support has made her even more proud of her hometown, Quinn said.
“It’s just a great feeling knowing I have so many out there who have supported me in my effort to help find a cure for this awful disease,” she said. “I’d love to see that cure come in my lifetime, but if it doesn’t that’s okay. At least I’ll know I did my part.”
Players who sign up by Friday, Sept. 4 will receive a free t-shirt. To play, or find out more information, contact Quinn at 533-2109 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quinn is accepting donations of any amount via the Venmo money sending app. To donate, send the money to her account, Terri-Quinn-4, and include a note that the donation is for the Strike Out Parkinson’s event.
Strike Out Parkinson’s will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at Legacy Field - Zlotnik Park, 303 West Loop.