The fifth Holly Colwell Save 2nd Base Wiffle Ball Tournament took place Saturday at Hayes Playground/Bustleton Bengals fields, with organizers hoping to match last year’s total of $14,000 raised for cancer patients and organizations.
“If we can beat that, if we can hit 15, I’d be ecstatic,” said Nick Tarducci.
Money goes to Home Runs for Holly, targeted to metastatic breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or cold cap treatments, a grueling process that allows cancer patients to retain most of their hair while undergoing chemotherapy. Holly Colwell, a tournament supporter, underwent such treatments, which can help patients feel better emotionally and mentally. Sadly, she died, at age 33, a week after the 2019 tournament. Colwell’s mom, Joan Lafty, was among the tournament volunteers on Saturday.
Tarducci and his mom, Christine, a breast cancer survivor, organize the event, which featured 35 teams, seven in the Rec Division and 28 in the Competitive Division.
Diablo Dingers won the Rec Division, earning a party package at Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub. Team members were Dave Anderson, Eric French, Anthony Bloom, Christian D’Angelis, Tom Rodgers, Rick Donovan, Ken Sterling and Alex Willouer. Nicole French was the manager.
The Breast Ballplayers won the Competitive Division, and will use their Paddy Whacks party package to hold their fantasy football draft. They donated their $500 winnings to Home Runs for Holly. Team members were Charles Wallace, Charles Wallace Sr., Jarred McCafferty, Andrew Crudele and Anthony Crudele.
The day also featured a memory table, with candles, flowers and pictures of women lost to breast cancer; a food truck; T-shirt sales; and raffles. Money was also raised through field sponsors and home runs pledges. In all, there were 85 home runs hit by 23 players.
Some players wore ribbons in memory of Jailene Holton, the 21-year-old Parkwood woman shot to death in June at a Welsh Road bar.
Before the action began, City Councilman Brian O’Neill promised city support for the tournament in future years. Participants observed a moment of silence for Simon Cohen, a longtime supporter of the Bustleton Bengals who died July 27.
The Tarduccis are thankful to all the tournament participants, T-shirt and field sponsors, volunteers and umpires for supporting the cause. ••