How it all started…
We were planning to host a Wiffle ball recognition event for the South Burlington Little League team at Little Fenway on September 15, 2001. This team had come within one win of making it to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. Four days before this special event our nation was shocked by the tragedy of 9-11. We thought that we would need to postpone the event, however, one of the families asked why we couldn’t hold the event to help show these kids that life will go on and we can still have fun. As a result we changed the purpose of the event to a fundraiser for the NY disaster relief efforts. Everyone that attended contributed at least $1 and we raised $1,400. This event served to open our eyes to the wonderful fundraising opportunity that was in our backyard.
Building on the success of this first fundraising event we then partnered with a radio station that hosted the Corm and the Coach morning show. Steve Cormier and Coach Tom Brennan frequently talked about Little Fenway and our charity Wiffle ball games on the air. They helped start Monday night fundraising games for various local causes. Corm and the Coach challenged various businesses to a game at Little Fenway against a team of media personalities. The businesses would then contribute $500-$1000 for each game played towards our fundraising objective. One cause was to help a young girl pay for a kidney transplant. Another cause was to help a man who had a boating accident and did not have any insurance. We also were able to raise money for the Vermont Military Assistance Program.
The Little Fenway Signature Event…..
In 2002, after reading Travis Roy’s book called Eleven Seconds, Pat called the Travis Roy Foundation and asked one of the trustees if they would be interested in participating in a Wiffle ball tournament at Little Fenway to benefit the Travis Roy Foundation. They agreed and the first TRF Wiffle ball event was held on June 22, 2002. It was a one day event, with seven teams, less than 20 spectators, and it rained all day. The players had a blast and we raised $4,000 for the Travis Roy Foundation. Each year since 2002 the TRF Wiffle ball tournament has been held in August and over $3.5 Million has been raised for the foundation over the last 14 years.
Other Charities Supported through Little Fenway Events…
Between 2002 and 2010 various charity Wiffle ball tournaments have been held for different causes. One time events were held to raise money for ALS, breast cancer research, and education and research into gynelogical cancers. In (check the date from the histograms) we commenced a fundraising tournament with the Jarred Williams Foundation. This foundation supported families with children that have chronic diseases. The annual Jared Williams Foundation Wiffle ball tournament at Little Fenway ran from 20?? to 20?? and raised over $???.
In 2011 we began a tournament to support the fight against Type 1 Diabetes and this tournament has grown each year since its beginning. In June 2015 the annual SLAMDiabetes Wiffle ball tournament at Little Fenway raised over $80,000 and it is expected to continue to grow in years to come. The money raised enables children with Type 1 Diabetes to attend summer diabetes camps that help them and their families learn to live safe and healthy lives while we combat this disease.
In October 2015 a one-day event was held to support the Strike3 Foundation. This foundation was created by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow to support pediatric cancer research.