By Phelps Helps
It was a dark and stormy Friday evening for the first round of the Phelps Helps annual soft-ball tournament this past weekend. The Phelps team, being the optimists that we are, began set-up regardless, lugging our coolers into the canteen at Beebe Memorial Park and loading the fridge with soft drinks, hot dogs, and beer. The freezer was packed with hamburgers and Freezies. The tables were loaded with buns, condiments, and chips. Tents were assembled, the BBQ hauled into place, a speaker set-up for music, and garbage and recycling bins placed strategically about the park. Out in the baseball diamond, the team raked the field and laid down the lines. When the first teams arrived to play at 5pm, we were ready to play ball!
That night we succeeded in playing two out of the five scheduled games before the rain set in, the last game ending on a muddy field. Not bad considering the weather! Our optimism continued to be rewarded the following Saturday and Sunday, Sunday being sunny and hot, ideal play weather as well as perfect Freezie/cold drink weather.
Over the three days, the crowd cheered on the twelve teams as they pitted their skills against each other. On the lawn outside the diamond, kids gathered to play their own informal softball games, with equally skilled players throwing, catching, batting, and racing from base to base.
Events like these are always a great pleasure for the Phelps team. They’re a chance to get out and have fun with the community. A big part of what makes it so enjoyable is the number of young volunteers who help out. In the score booth, teen “Phelpsers” kept score. Another of our high school participants, Tyson, ran the BBQ as efficiently as a pro, even though it was his first time. At the canteen, we had a rotation of elementary school kids taking orders, tallying prices and making change for all our customers under the guidance of the Phelps team.