Archive for Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Tourney raises more than $2,000

Memorial softball games to fund scholarships for 2004 THS graduate

September 3, 2003

Area residents raised more than $2,000 for the Andy Robbins Memorial Scholarship on what became a very fitting day.

When Josh and Lorelei Witt and Jon Snapp first began planning a memorial co-ed softball tournament to honor Andy Robbins, Lorelei found a date -- Aug. 23 -- and went with it.

"The tournament was on his birthday," Lorelei Witt said. "We didn't even think about it when we picked dates with the rec commission."

Robbins died from complications with bone cancer nearly a year ago. Lorelei and Josh were roommates of Robbins, while Snapp was another friend who wanted to pay tribute to him. A scholarship in his name will be presented at the Tonganoxie High School commencement ceremony next May.

With 11 teams in the tournament, the event netted plenty of funds through team fees, concessions, donations and T-shirt sales. All items for the tournament were donated, including $250 from Culver-Stockton College, an NAIA school in Missouri. Tonganoxie native John Duncanson coaches at Culver-Stockton and gathered donations there.

"We weren't even expecting that," Witt said of the more than $2,000 in contributions. "Everyone was just so generous. We had a great turnout."

Jason Smith's team defeated Jeff Nehl's team for the tournament title. Both teams were from Tonganoxie.

The championship team received T-shirts and $100, but the Smiths donated their money back to the fund.

"They just wanted the T-shirts," Witt said.

The demand for T-shirts was so high that Witt had to order 30 more.

Many of Robbins' relatives formed a team, while his parents, Dave and Lisa Robbins, also were on hand.

"Andy's parents were happy to see everyone come out to support this and remember him," Witt said.

Whether there will be multiple scholarships given in Robbins' name is still up in the air.

Dave Robbins told Witt that he wanted to donate $1,000 from their family's business, Cottonwood Campground in Bonner Springs.

"That would put us up to where we could have a couple," Witt said. "We're going to get the school board involved and see what they want to do."

More fund-raisers likely won't be organized for this school year's scholarship, but Witt hopes to have more memorial tournaments in the future, perhaps with one change.

"The only thing people wanted us to do was make it in a cooler month," Witt said.

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