Ball event expected to be a hit

Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2004

It may not be the Major Leagues, but a World Series Baseball Event planned this weekend still is expected to provide a thrill for a group of Frontier Community Services clients.

The agency, working with Kenai Little League, will host an afternoon of baseball for its clients, who experience a range of disabilities. Following the games Sunday, there will be a community potluck. Central Kenai Peninsula residents are invited to attend the games and potluck to support the players.

Tammy Meier, a program coordinator for FCS, said the event is an opportunity to offer clients fun and fellowship with the broader community. She explained that FCS provides numerous programs, working with everyone from babies suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to seniors in need of home care. Most of the clients involved in the World Series games Sunday are those with developmental delays.

"I feel it's important to our consumers to get out in the community and participate in some sports so they're able to have fun and enjoy playing with other people they know," Meier said. "It will help them get out in the community and make them feel important, like they're part of the community."

Kathy Howard, the FCS office manager who also helped organize the event, explained that there will be four teams of 10 to 12 players, aided by coaches and managers. The teams will play simultaneous games starting at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kenai Little League fields on Spruce Street.

Community dignitaries are expected to attend the event, with Kenai Mayor John Williams throwing the first pitch to Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley. Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Kenai, and Richard Haft will be grilling for the potluck picnic following the games.

Howard added that there also will be face painting, balloon artists and other entertainment during the potluck.

"We've had good support from the community," Meier said, noting that despite a short planning period, sponsors turned out to provide players with T-shirts, hats and baseball gloves. She also said Joe Malatesta and Kenai Little League were instrumental in planning the event.

Now, Meier said, she hopes the community will step to the plate to attend the games and potluck in support of the players.

"It's important they get support from other people in the community," she said.

What: Frontier Community Services World Se-ries Baseball Event, with cli-ents playing baseball and community members watching, cheering and eating.

When: Games start at 1 p.m. Sunday, with a potluck immediately following.

Where: Kenai Little League fields on Spruce Street.

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