I love being a champion. I'll always rather have the target on my back rather than aiming for one on someone else's. That's why this year, when my team, The Boston Beef, arrives at the Annual Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament, we will be the team to beat, having won it all last year in dramatic fashion.
It was an excellent feeling to beat out a field two dozen teams full of men of all ages reliving the glory days. There's something rewarding about trying way too hard during a Wiffle Ball game, against a bunch of older guys who are also trying way too hard and coming out on top. Doing so on professionally groomed diamonds that are scaled down replicas of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field never hurts either (http://www.littlefenway.com/fenway/home ).
Yet the real victory for the Beef—the one my team is most proud of and the one we need to repeat—is the fact that we raised the most money of all the teams in the tournament. Winning on the field was great, but it would have meant a lot less if we didn't raise the most money.
The reason fundraising for this charity is so important is because each dollar raised helps someone with a spinal cord injury gain a little bit more normalcy and self-reliance in their lives. Helping these people acquire even a small amount of independence in their everyday routine is something I take great pride in, and the reason so many people have flocked to support this foundation.
A major catalyst for my involvement in this charity is the fact that every person on this planet can become paralyzed, whether it be driving a car, diving into a pool or playing any number of sports. I'm not trying to scare you into helping, but to let you know the reality of this injury. The smallest things—like driving to work or making your own lunch—are huge obstacles for someone with a spinal cord injury. Not being able to do such things is a very difficult realization.
Nobody plans on being paralyzed. But when it happens, it changes people's lives drastically, as well as the lives of the people close to them.
Why not help before something bad happens? Knowing someone who has been affected by this injury shouldn't be the catalyst to give. Rather, it should be the knowledge that anyone at anytime can be affected by a spinal cord injury.
It goes against my better judgement to write an article asking for money. But for the second year in a row, I'm doing just that. I know that no matter what, I am never going to be in the wrong asking for help and monetary support for this cause. If anything, not asking for donations would be wrong, because it's so important for this money to be raised. It's not even the amount I'm going for; it's the participation. Showing your support with any size donation is something that helps provide hope for these people in need, and that hope is something you can never put a price tag on.
This Wiffle Ball Tournament is important in providing people a chance to have fun and celebrate good health, as they are things that can often be taken for granted. This competition is there to remind us that we are so very lucky to be able to participate, and my team's victory last year helped me realize how important it is to be grateful for my situation. In its 8th year, this tournament is on the cusp of hitting the one million dollar mark for money raised, and it would be a phenomenal accomplishment to be a part of.
If you would like to give, you can do so here, and click the "sponsor me" button to start the process: https://atl.etapestry.com/fundraiser/TravisRoyFoundation/WiffleBallTournament/individual.do?participationRef=2535.0.72947737
I understand that this is an extremely tough time financially for our country, but in a sense that is what makes each and every dollar more meaningful. I'm not asking for you to break the bank, but to sacrifice a few dollars that can make a huge difference in people's lives.
I won't inundate you statistics or numbers, I just hope that this can appeal to your humanity and ability to put yourself in the position of someone who is affected by this injury. If you do decide to donate, please type "Bleacher Report" in the message line as a show of support for this cause, and even you decide not to give, please pass this article along to people in your lives.
If even one person donates from reading this article, then in my mind, it was a complete success. I am hoping you can be that person.