GREENVILLE — The first annual Wounded Soldier Softball Tournament in Greenville was a success.
In all, 29 teams competed in three levels this past weekend with Sports Galore winning the men’s upper division, Rood Dog the men’s lower division and Morning — the coed tournament.
Six veterans from the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans participated on teams throughout the weekend.
“Everything went great,” tournament organizer Buck Rush said. “The veterans we had here from Grand Rapids had a great time. They said it was a memorable moment they will never forget for the rest of their lives.”
The tournament started Friday evening with the men’s tournament and concluded on Sunday with the coed division. Team turnout, as well as spectator turnout was fantastic.
“It was a great weekend. The turnout was great,” Rush said. “It was almost like Danish with the amount of people up here. We will have this again next year bigger and better.”
Rush is already making plans for next year’s tournament.
“This will be an annual event for us, so we will be back next year,” Rush said. “Every fourth weekend in June. The spectators were great, the ball players were great and everything went well.”
On Saturday morning, the event hosted a home run derby contest. Kevin Malich won the home run derby contest and took home a Miken ASA Psycho softball bat as prize.
Rush said the best part of the weekend was when some winning and runner-up teams donated their trophies to the veterans.
“One of the veterans was crying when he got his trophy,” Rush said. “It was really emotional.”
Rush also wanted to thank all of the sponsors for making this tournament possible.
“I want to thank all of our sponsors and volunteers for this tournament,” Rush said. “Without them we would not be able to host this event. This would not be possible.”
The Wounded Soldier Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money with 100 percent of all proceeds going toward helping injured soldiers and veterans.