In the first two years of the Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament, a dozen local kids living with Type 1 Diabetes have had the incredible opportunity to go to a camp specially for them. This is the primary focus of the tournament, to help children living with this disorder to feel "normal" just for a few days. This year's tournament is on Saturday, April 15th at Memorial Park. The first pitch is thrown out at 9:00 a.m.
Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament
Saturday, April 15th
T-Shirt Design created by OHS Senior Rebecca Robinson
Otsego Varsity Softball Coach, Jake Knash, and his wife, Sarah, started this charity three years when their youngest daughter, Rylee, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. "This was very challenging for our family," Knash says. But they didn't let it bring them down, "Instead of being upset with this diagnosis, we had to embrace it and make the best of a bad situation. We thought the best way to do that was to give back to the kids in the community that are living with this disease."
The annual Bulldog Invite turned into the Rylee Lou Charity Tournament and they've had incredible support from the teams who participate - who almost always wear red or order the event t-shirt - and from the students, staff and Otsego community. Several local businesses are sponsors of the event and the game-day t-shirt ordering is underway. (See below for ordering details.)
"This is a great way for our community to serve others and show that we care. Otsego Schools has a handful of students who live with this disease. I think it is important that they know we care and are willing to support them."
The tournament has raised $16,000 in its first two years. They use the money to send local kids with Type 1 Diabetes to a camp that is just for them, Camp Midicha. It has doctors on hand 24 hours a day to continue the monitoring that is typically done at home and to administer any needs. The kids participate in typical camp activities, just without the worry of the constant maintenance usually done at home. The charity has also helped out with different expenses and resources for families working through such a diagnosis.
Seeing the kids enjoy the camp and helping other families has been very rewarding for the Knash family, "We wanted to teach our children that life is not perfect and sometimes you have to make the best of your circumstances. I believe that the key to life is giving back and putting others before yourself."
If you would like to help with this charity event or if you are a business who would like to make a donation...please contact Jake Knash. email@example.com. If you would like to donate to the cause, click on the donate button below.