PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry will again host a benefit softball game Wednesday for the National Foundation for Cancer Research. The Cardinals will play against Glenn High School.
Two games will be played with the JV game scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and the varsity following at 7 p.m.
According to Coach Derrick Hill, Andrea Kittrell and her daughter, Jessica Barker, have been doing a lot of leg work for the project. Barker’s grandfather, Robert Gordon, who struggled against cancer himself, threw out the first pitch of the Lady Cardinal softball season last year before succumbing to the disease.
“I plan on doing this again next year for my senior project,” said Barker, who also announced that Surry Central alumna Hayley Shelton will throw out the first pitch in honor of her grandmother, who was also a cancer victim. Shelton is a student at Appalachian State after being a standout pitcher for the Eagles beginning in her freshman year.
This year’s commemorative T-shirts will be black and white and all athletes participating in the game will receive the shirts.
“Last year the pink on the shirts kept some dads from buying one,” added Barker. “We fixed that this year.”
She also said that for a small fee, participants and spectators may write a special message on a note that will be attached to a balloon and released at the game. “We really wanted to involve the entire community this year,” said Barker.
“We feel we are doing a good thing for a worthy cause,” said Hill. “Cancer is something that has struck everybody. It is hard to find anybody who hasn’t had a family member who hasn’t had it.”
A variety of other events are planned at the game. All participating team members will wear shirts made especially for the event.
“The game was secondary last year,” added Hill. “We haven’t been playing well in the tournaments but raising money for this cause is more important to us all.”
Last year’s event raised about $2,100 for the cause which exceeded the goal of $1,000. Barker said that the effort is $200 shy of the mark before Wednesday’s game. She said she is hopeful that participation from the fans will help them make the goal.