By Paul Cooley
GERRY - Pink was the color of choice at the Little League field at the town park in recently as the annual Valley Little League tournament held its first "Hits for a Cure" to raise funds to promote breast cancer awareness and fund research at WCA Hospital. The event raised more than $1,400.
The highlight game of the weekend featured the Sinclairville Mariners and the Cassadaga Reds with both teams and coaches wearing pink hats and socks and the umpires and many fans dressed in pink shirts. The fences were draped with pink streamers and even the lines on the field were pink.
Above are the teams, coaches and umpires from the Gerry Little League, who participated in the first “Hits For A Cure” baseball game, which raised more than $1,400 for breast cancer awareness and research at WCA Hospital.
The idea for this event originated with Brad Barmore, a 2012 Brockport State graduate, who established a non-profit organization early this year to promote what he expects to be an annual event as part of the tournament. Barmore says both of his grandmothers are breast cancer survivors and he felt this was something that could bring awareness of this disease to even the Little Leaguers and their fans. He is being assisted by his father, Dean Barmore Jr., as vice-president, and Adrienne Bryerton as treasurer.
Funds raised came from sponsors, a 50/50 drawing, and several raffles including a Jamestown Jammers jersey and gift certificates from the Wing City Grill and the Bemus Village Casino Grill. The pink hats were donated by B&L Wholesale, the socks by the Jock Shop, and the umpires' shirts by Feegan's Witch Kitch Grill.
The first pitch preceding the game was thrown out by Marlena Larson, a breast cancer survivor, followed by the singing of the national anthem by Kira Spencer. The Cassadaga Reds claimed victory in this inaugural event.
The Valley Little League consists of teams from Gerry, Sinclairville, Cassadaga, Cherry Creek, and South Dayton, and the annual season-ending tournament features18 games played during a week in early June at the Gerry site. The event was begun 14 years ago by Gerry residents Dean Barmore Jr., and Krieg Hoth. During that time much of the maintenance on the fields has been performed by volunteer Kevin Carlson. Concessions stands this year were headed up by Dan Ansel.
Brad Barmore,who will doing his student teaching at Southwestern High School this fall, says he was pleased with the results for this first year event and hopes it will become bigger and better each year as a highlight of the Valley League tournament.