The Arc and Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office raise money for Special Olympics

Darian Graivshark
Swing batter batter, swing!

People want to give back to something that matters in a fun way, whether it be through baking, dancing, or sports.

On Saturday, September 8 the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and The Arc of East Ascension paired together to host their second annual Sluggin' for the Torch Softball Tournament held at Butch Gore Memorial Park in St. Amant.

The tournament was originally created by Lt. Col. Ward Webb, who passed away peacefully this year in March. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Special Olympics.

"Ward Webb didn't have a special needs family member or anything like that. The cause was something that he held dear to his heart and wanted to make a difference in the special needs community," Sheriff Jeff Wiley said. Wiley has a granddaughter with down syndrome.

Continuing Webb's legacy, Detective Bob Escamilla took over the role as the organizer.

"This is our second annual tournament. We have fourteen teams here today. I actually had to turn some teams down since this is only a one day event. Otherwise, we'd be playing games all weekend," Escamilla said.

Although more teams weren't able to register, Escamilla sees potential for the tournament to turn into a weekend event versus just a one-day event.

"I didn't expect this many people to pay $500 dollars per team to play, but there was an overwhelming amount who did. Given the amount of teams who registered, along with raffles, we anticipate to raise around $9,000 dollars," Escamilla said.

As far as satisfying thirst and hunger, The Arc of East Ascension and the Louisiana Federal Credit Union graciously volunteered to work the concession stand during the tournament.

Sharon Morris, Public Relations and Marketing Director of The Arc of East Ascension said, "The money we raise at this stand goes directly back into The Arc. We help volunteer at special events, and this softball tournament is one of them."

"We have double the volunteers this year compared to the last, so we're a lot more organized. We're really grateful to those who have helped us," Escamilla said.

All of the fields were completely filled with teams playing in the tournament. There were also plenty of supporters on the bleachers cheering on their favorite teams.

"It's a really nice feeling to be able to raise money for something people feel so passionately about. For many of them, it's something that hits home," Escamilla said.

All of the money raised is donated in house within Ascension Parish for the Special Olympics and children with special needs.

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