|Softball game goes 'Beyond Expectations'|
|Tuesday, July 01, 2014 8:00 PM|
BY ERIN COX
DHI Media Staff Writer
Beyond Expectations is a Delphos organization for individuals with special needs and the softball game brings participants of all ages with medical, physical and mental challenges out to play a game of softball with a crowd of support from the community who wants to watch one of the happiest softball games possible.
Amy Hale, an organizer of the softball game, wanted a chance to do something together as a family. She has a special needs son she had to stay home with as her husband took her other two kids out to do different activities.
“One day I just said, ‘This is stupid. We should be able to do something together as a family’,” she said.
Hale and her husband thought a softball game in honor of her father and softball coach, who passed away on July 3, 2001, would be a great family experience.
“For me personally, the best part of the game is just watching these kids and the joy on their faces,” Hale said. “It is the best part of my summer.”
This year, local businessman Jack Westrich has taken a larger role in organizing the event.
“I got involved about four years ago,” Westrich said. “Once I went out and got involved, I was hooked on it.”
Westrich loves going to sporting events of all kinds but the Beyond Expectations softball game caused a different feeling than the rest.
“Sometimes the wins and losses get carried away in our everyday life but when you see how happy these players are just to play, that’s all the enjoyment that you need right there.” Westrich said.
Westrich is helping to provide players with shirts, hats, water bottles and a medal, which the players will receive at a ceremony after the game.
All special needs individuals are able to participate and the Beyond Expectations group will help to make sure each player who needs help on the field gets the assistance he or she needs.
“Whatever the player needs a buddy will accommodate for them,” Hale said. “We’ve had players as young as 3 and as old as 69. Whoever wants to play is welcome.”
Hale has seen many returning players throughout the years and about four or five new players each year as well. They come from all around the area including Toledo, Sylvania, Gilboa, Ottawa, Ottoville, Lima and Delphos.
She also sees families who are not directly related to any of the players come each year to watch the game.
“It’s the only game going on at the time during the festival so others will come on over to watch,” Hale said.
The softball game is from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the Delphos Little League Diamond at Stadium Park.
“I encourage people in the Delphos area to come out and watch the game,” Westrich said. “You can learn what happiness is all about when you play a game of softball. That’s what it’s all about.”