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Scottdale softball tournament results in best-ever charity fundraiser

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

In the six years of the Pitch-In, One-Pitch Softball Tournament never has as much money been raised as was this year.

Eight teams took to the Allied Waste Services Sports Complex Aug. 17-18 and participated in a double-elimination tournament.

Sure, a champion was crowned (a Scottdale-based team called WPC), but the main goal of the tournament each year is to raise money. This year, $5,008.20 was raised and all of the proceeds will benefit Sydney Hawk. Sydney, 4, is battling leukemia

“It was so nice,” said Tawnia St. Amant, an organizer of the tournament along with her sister Mandy Schnorr. “It was so exciting. (The weather) was absolutely gorgeous.

St. Amant and Schnorr decided to have the proceeds go to Sydney, whose grandfather, Joe Hawk, was a longtime teacher at Southmoreland Elementary School.

Each year, a different charity is picked to be the benefactor of the funds raised from the tournament. In past years funds have gone to groups such as the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

Each team paid a $250 entrance fee and everything was donated for the weekend from the fields to the food in the concession stand.

St. Amant said Sydney and her family were able to make an appearance at the tournament.

“Everybody was excited to see her,” St. Amant said, adding that people gave Sydney her space. “They realized they didn't need to be on top of her. We took a moment of silence for her and a second to say a prayer for her.”

Sydney's grandfather he proved to be quite popular with those in attendance.

“It was really nice to see everybody rally around him,” St. Amant said. “I don't think there is a person here that he doesn't know, that he didn't acknowledge. Anybody who went to Southmoreland stopped to talk to him.”

Sydney's sister Addison, 6, pulled the winners for the prize baskets.

A letter from Sydney's grandparents — Joe and Marty Hawk — that ran in the Sept. 5 edition of The independent-Observer expressed their gratitude.

“This was yet another impressive act of compassion so demonstrated by the kind, loving people of our little town of Scottdale,” the letter read.

A significant contributor to the tournament's effort was the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation, which pledged to match a quarter of the funds raised if it surpassed $4,000.

With this year's tournament complete the focus shifts to next year, but St. Amant said it is far too early to decide who will be next year's benefactor.

“We've been going back and forth,” she said. “We know it will be around the end of August, as soon as we can get the field.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

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