10th Annual Travis Roy Foundation Tourney

Tenth-Annual Travis Roy Foundation WIFFLE Ball Tourney A Big Hit On and Off The Field

‘A Decade of Fun’ Concludes With Record-Fundraising Total

ESSEX, Vt. — The 10th edition of the Travis Roy Foundation Vermont WIFFLE Ball Tournament concluded Sunday at Little Fenway and Little Wrigley and once again it exceeded expectations on and off the field. The 24-team backyard WIFFLE ball tourney generated over $406,000, a record amount, to benefit the foundation that benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries. The fundraising total surpassed last year’s $377,000 and has raised over $1 million dollars the past three years and now totals over $1.5 million since its inception in 2002.

The theme of this year’s tourney was ‘A Decade of Fun’ and in addition to the record fundraising total, a record number of people attended the free event that was broadcast live on the internet for the first time. The Staten Island Yankees, one of the ‘Original Four’ teams remaining from the first seven-team tournament in 2002, captured their first championship beating the rain and the Rutland, Vt.-based Blue Bulls, 7-5, in Sunday’s title game.

“This weekend elevated the tournament to such a high level that I truly did not think was possible,” said Travis Roy, the former Boston University men’s hockey player who resides with his family each summer in nearby Mallets Bay on Lake Champlain. “Our goal was to celebrate 10 years of fun and we far exceeded that.

“It’s hard to express enough gratitude to the volunteers, participants and spectators that contributed to the success of this event that keeps growing and growing. We all share in the fun and that atmosphere benefits the foundation as much as or more than the money we raise.”

“I’d like to echo what Travis has said,” added Pat O’Connor, the tournament director who hosts the tourney at the quarter-scale replicas of the two historic major league ballparks he built adjacent to his home. “And I would also like to add special thanks for another great effort to our steering committee, the sponsors and all the volunteers- including many local baseball umpires who gave us their time this weekend.”

Another of the ‘Original Four’ teams, the Boston Beef, won its fifth-straight Fan Club Award for the team with the largest fundraising effort (over $80,000) while the Donut Boys, sponsored by the locally-owned Dunkin Donuts franchises and captained by Frank Puleo, captured the Kim Trahan Fundraising Leadership Award for creativity, leadership and innovation in its fundraising effort.

Billy Gerke, a native of Essex Junction who plays for the Green Mountain Moose, was the winner of the Tommy Long Sportsmanship Award and the Blue Bulls Tad Skelley, from Wolfeboro, N.H., was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. A standout baseball player at Wheaton College before he graduated this May, Skelley over the weekend put on one of the top power-hitting displays in the history of the tournament. Jane Kennedy O’Neil, the tourney’s photographer for all 10 years, was inducted into the Little Fenway Hall of Fame.

The tournament began Friday with the annual Celebrity-Sponsor game at Little Fenway. The Celebrities earned a 6-3 win and included WIFFLE Inc. president Dave Mullany, who is the grandson of the inventor of WIFFLE Ball, former major league pitchers Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee and Jim Neidlinger, former UVM hoop standout Taylor Coppenrath, first-year Vermont men’s basketball coach John Becker, JetBlue Airways President and CEO David Barger and Major General Michael Dubie, adjudent general of the Vermont National Guard. Also recognized at Friday’s opening ceremonies were the 21 players and volunteers who have participated in all 10 tournaments.

Click here to watch a video of the championship game courtesy of the Pack Network: http://www.packnetwork.com/video/wiffleball/

Click here for information regarding the tournament: http://www.travisroyfoundation.org/travis-roy-foundation-vermont-wiffle-ball-tournament

For more information on the Travis Roy Foundation, log on to: www.travisroyfoundation.org
Bruce Bosley
bruce@packnetwork.com
C: 802-324-8334
H: 802-863-5764