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Kickball tournament a classic

Daily Staff Report
John Fitzgerald, Michele Evans and Johnny Crodelle, of Evans Chaffee, working the registration desk the morning of the event.
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Dark clouds and threats of rain couldn’t stop grown-ups from around the valley from enjoying a return to their childhood.

More than 200 people competed Aug. 23 in the second Evans Chaffee Kickball Classic and pancake breakfast at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion and soccer fields.

Dozens of people gobbled down pancakes and sausages from the griddle, and burgers and dogs from the grill – all in an effort to raise funds for Court Appointed Special Advocates, the beneficiary of the classic.

“We were overwhelmed with last year’s support, and even more so this year,” said Beth Christie, business manager for Evans Chaffee Construction Group. “It’s very touching to see so many people and businesses give of themselves to help a deserving cause.”

Each year, the construction group chooses a different beneficiary that helps women and children. The money from the $250 team-registration fees, breakfast, lunch and donations added up to several thousand dollars.

Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, provides court-appointed advocates to children who have been victims of negligence or abuse.

“CASA walks through the court system and gives children a voice,” Christie said earlier this summer. “The volunteers act in the best interest of the children. They make friends with the kids and talk with them regularly about their wants and needs – if they want to go back to their parents.

“CASA doesn’t have a huge following in Eagle County, and there’s only a few cases brought before them now.”

Last year’s beneficiary was Freedom Ranch, the Eagle County Women and Children’s Shelter.

“We’re trying to keep it open as far as who we help,” Michele Evans, president of Evans Chaffee Construction Group, said earlier in the summer. “Who can we best help and who will benefit the most from it.”

As a female owner of a construction company, Evans said she wanted to concentrate on helping the women and children of Eagle County.

The construction group was involved with the building of the women’s shelter, but at the end of the project, the shelter needed additional help to open the doors, Christie said. The construction company opted for a pancake breakfast and included a kickball tournament as a way to raise money for the shelter. It was a success, drawing 16 teams and raising $9,000, Christie said.

The company decided to make it an annual event.

“Based on the many positive comments we received about this event – from the novelty of the sport to the attention to details on the part of everyone involved – we hope that it will be successful for years to come,” Christie said.

The 2003 kickball classic also provided other forms of entertainment than kickball. Other activities included a bungee run, an obstacle course and a dunk tank, where, according to Evans Chaffee employees, “referees were known to end up after unpopular calls.”

“We enjoyed being part of this great event and being able to give back to the community,” said Mike Burk, general manager of the Edwards Business Center. “This was a worthwhile event in every way, and we hope to be able to be part of it next year.”


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