RESTON, VA – The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) has announced that the team will be holding the inaugural Alumni Kids Camp September 28 through October 1, with lodging, meals, softball and various family-fun activities provided at no cost to children and their parents participating in the event. Adding on to the excitement surrounding the first-of-its-kind event is the announcement of former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Jim Abbott being named as Honorary Chairperson.
“We are very excited to be hosting our first-ever Alumni Kids Camp at this incredible facility, Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri,” said WWAST Executive Director and US Army Retired Veteran, Dennis Wince. “Ever since our first Kids Camp, the kids and the players wanted a way to reconnect with each other. This camp will be that opportunity!”
Set to take place at Ballparks of America in Branson, Mo., the Alumni Kids Camp will be open to 20 children who have participated in the WWAST’s annual Kids Camp in previous years. The camps recognize the positive impact players can have on kids who have missing or have lost limbs, and allows the WWAST to educate and inspire children who face similar challenges. The players who make up the WWAST roster continue to serve the United States and are, in turn, inspired by many of the brave young kids at camp. Kids in attendance will share time with many of the WWAST players on Ballparks of America’s campus, which is comprised of five, two-third-scale MLB replica fields, be lodged in the air-conditioned team suites fashioned after MLB clubhouses with HDTV, secure access and private shower facilities, in addition to visiting world famous attractions together in the city.
Abbott, who was born without a right hand, was an All-American pitcher at the University of Michigan and became the first baseball player to win AAU’s Sullivan Award, which is given to the top amateur athlete in the United States, in 1987. Highlighting his career was his time spent with the United States Olympic Team in 1988 where they claimed the Gold Medal, in addition to throwing a no-hitter for the New York Yankees versus Cleveland on Sept. 4, 1993. His career included roster spots on the California Angels, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, and Milwaukee Brewers spanning from 1989 to 1999.
“We are honored to have Jim Abbott as our honorary chairperson for such an impactful event because he can be such a role model for these children,” said Ballparks of America CEO, Hamilton Chang. “Quite honestly, I’d be surprised if not every one of the baseball playing soldiers participating in this program didn’t think about Jim and his accomplishments while recuperating from their traumatic limb loss from war. Jim is a great example of the potential within us all to rise up to the challenges in life. Ballparks of America is striving to do great things in this world, and one of those things is providing free travel, housing, meals, baseball fields and love to soldiers who have been injured defending our country and maybe rebuilding and giving back by inspiring kids. These soldiers became mentors, life coaches, and heroes to these kids when they attended the WWAST Kids Camps in the past. We are proud to help reunite player and coach.”
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team
The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) is a standalone 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to inspire and educate others while enhancing the health and welfare of wounded warrior amputees. The team was created in March 2011 and travels the country playing able-bodied softball teams. The WWAST is not affiliated with other charities having the words “Wounded Warrior” in their name (e.g. Wounded Warrior Project, etc.). Since its inception, over 85% of donations have supported programs helping Wounded Warrior Amputees, amputee children, and supporting medical research. You can find more information about the WWAST at www.thewwast.org.