On Sunday morning, August 18, it looked like we might experience the first-ever rainout of the Bridger and Essex Grebe Softball Challenge. But the boys must have been looking down on us, making sure the skies cleared and the field dried just in time for the ninth annual event.
And what a wonderful day it was.
We continue to be thankful for the seemingly endless support of our family, friends and colleagues. While we aren’t surprised, we are overwhelmed by your support every year and appreciative of the generosity that shows up before, during, and after the event. The Bridger and Essex Grebe Fund could not provide the support it does without you. Thank you.
This event would not exist or continue without Connie and Reik Read. It was their idea to create this special way to help other families while we remember Bridger and Essex and celebrate their lives. The funds raised during the event support the Bridger and Essex Grebe Fund, which in turn supports families with children who have needs similar to those that Bridger and Essex had, but who do not have the good fortune to be able to afford the life-changing therapy, assistance, and equipment that make such a difference. In addition, we have been able to directly support research directed at finding a cure for INAD. Real work with promising developments is happening today.
Although we are still counting the proceeds, this year’s event will have raised more than $30,000 — one of the highest totals ever. To date, we have raised more than half a million dollars. Again, thank you for helping make this happen.
For those of you who were able to attend, you witnessed a pretty entertaining game that featured some pretty decent play. We continued the tradition of young guns versus old men, and the young guns prevailed once again . . . with 51-29 win. (Keegan Kubicki’s 23 run home run may have contributed to that victory . . .). Happily, other than a mildly scraped-up leg that arose from some over-competitive exuberance, there were no injuries. (That is an underrated mark of success for the old men’s team.) In what has become an annual tradition, Reik Read thoroughly entertained the crowd with his in depth play-by-plan analysis, working this year with Jack Van Dyke, who retired his bat and glove to join Reik for some questionable color commentary.
Thank you to everyone who participated, especially our “Bid to be a Player” auction winners: Graham Kasten and Laine Bolton on the young guns and Mark Behnke, Dale Johnson, and Will Darling with the old men. We also want to thank Tripp and Griffin’s coaches and our friends, Marcellus Dawson, Brian Sommers, and Mike Sweet, for taking the time out of their Sunday to support our mission . . . and a huge thank you to the old men who continue to risk injury to play year after year (you know who you are).
We hope everyone enjoyed the event. Pictures will be uploaded on the website in the next few weeks. (Thank you Suzanne Mock). If you weren’t able to make the event but still want to make a donation you are – of course – still able to do so online.
We are truly grateful for the generosity and support of friends, family, and colleagues – on Sunday and for many years before the event. We were blessed to have Bridger and Essex in our family and our lives, and we are blessed by each of you as well. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything.
We look forward to seeing you next year at the Tenth Annual Bridger and Essex Grebe Softball Challenge!
The Grebe Family