Young baseball players from 248 select youth teams will travel with their families to McKinney this weekend for the Strikes Against Cancer tournament. The ballgames will fill the baseball facilities throughout McKinney as well as in Celina, Little Elm and Allen.
“I was personally asked if we wanted to kick the doors in and go over 300, which would have made us the Second Largest Tournament in the Southwest, and have it spill over into the cities of Mesquite and Irving,” said Adam Cox, president of the Strikes Against Cancer organization that sponsors large ball tournament. “I said no, and that we wanted to refine it right here in McKinney, and for all Championship Games to be played here in McKinney, with an over-flow to local surrounding cities.”
Strikes Against Cancer is the brainchild of Adam’s 12-year-old Geordon with whom he shares a love for baseball. Geordon’s mom, Lisa, loves to watch her son pitch, and after she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, father and son came up with the idea to take pledges from friends and family for every strike Geordon threw in his 2011 season. They would then donate the money to cancer research and awareness; Geordon had found a way to help his mom in her cancer battle. His coach and team got wind of this challenge and wanted to help, so they collectively decided to turn this fundraising idea into a full-fledged fundraising effort, Strikes Against Cancer.
“I just want to throw strikes for every mom fighting cancer,” young Geordon said, adding that he is spurred on to continue with his mom’s fight because, “my mom’s cancer doesn’t take a day off.”
As stated on the organization’s website, Strikes Against Cancer is fighting cancer one strike at a time. Visitors to the site can make donations, leave memorials for those they’ve lost and pay tribute to survivors. The organization also has specially-designed apparel available from their site. The Strikes Against Cancer select youth baseball tournament, the organization’s largest fundraising effort, kicks off Saturday morning with hundreds of visiting ball players and their families coming to McKinney for the second year in a row.
The opening ceremony for the weekend ball tournament starts with a general introduction at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch Field 7, and the reading of Mayor Brian Loughmiller’s Proclamation of the first weekend each May being “Strikes Against Cancer Weekend” each year in McKinney. Following the introduction of team line-ups, singing of the National Anthem, and an invocation prayer, Mayor Pro Tem Travis Ussery will throw out the first pitch at 10 a.m.
Cox explained that son Geordon has been working out two times a day, getting up at 6:30 a.m. to begin his morning workouts, followed by daily care of his mom, his household duties and keeping up with his schoolwork and classes.
“I will be completely honest - I do not expect Geordon to throw a single strike this weekend with all the hype and fanfare surrounding this tournament. But I know he’ll enjoy the day and have a good time for the greater cause,” Adam said. “This kid really works hard. He will be getting up at 5:30 a.m. to prepare for the tournament this weekend where our team got scheduled the first game slot.”
According to Cox, the tournament has truly been a community effort.
“This event could not have happened without support from the Mayor’s Office, McKinney’s City Council, the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau, the McKinney Chamber of Commerce, and Buffalo Wild Wings (#207 at University/Central Expressway) where General Manager Melissa Fritzsche’s ‘Penny Per Strike’ campaign really helped kick off our campaign,” Adam said, explaining that recent events - taking wife Lisa to chemo treatments and dealing with the sudden death of organization vice president Robbie Robertson – have kept him from being as involved in final steps of planning this event as he normally would have been.
“I am truly amazed by how many compassionate women we have in the community that just make things happen. This is a great day for the women in North Texas and the City of McKinney!”
For more about Strikes Against Cancer, visit the organization’s website: www.strikesagainstcancer.org.