Sioux City Saints Play Baseball To "Build a House For Blake"

Todd Civin@https://twitter.com/toddcivin1Senior Writer IJuly 18, 2009

"What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27

The Bible verse from Luke 18:27 is only one of several that fills the pages of Blake Jorgenson's website, but perhaps it is this one, which speaks most loudly to the many supporters who visit his "Build A House for Blake" website.

Be it with the help of God alone or the combined commitment of many men, women, family and friends who have joined forces to Build a House for Blake, the story screams of all that is right in the small mid-western town of Sloan, Iowa today.

On November 8th, 2008, tragedy struck the small community known as Westwood, when five Westwood Community High School wrestlers and their coach were seriously injured in a near head-on collision near Hornick, Iowa.

A driver of one car perished in the crash, while the wrestlers and their coach were seriously injured, while on their way to a wrestling clinic. The teenage passengers Trent Baker, Jordan Mitchell, Sage Washburn of Hornick, Adam Greeno, along with their coach Daniel Thompson have recovered from their injuries. Blake, who was the most severely injured, is paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair.

Blake and the other passengers were immediately transported to Mercy Medical Center twenty miles north of Sioux City, Iowa. On November 20th, Blake was transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado with a severe C-6/7 spinal injury. He remained at Craig until February 17th, when he and his family returned home. 

He now lives each day journeying down the long road of rehabilitation and recovery, while learning to do many daily tasks all over again with the help of his family and the rehabilitation team.

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The Jorgensen's current home is a split-level house, with many narrow halls and doorways which are impossible to maneuver with a wheel chair. In an effort to help the Jorgensons, the community supporters established the "Build a House for Blake" fund to build a new home for the Jorgenson's.

Their goal of raising $100,000 for the project and to "Build a House for Blake" has nearly become a reality. The community has participated in a series of bake sales, talent shows, dinners, concerts and other wonderful efforts in an effort to reach the goal.

On Sunday, July 19th, 2009 at 5:00 pm the annual Fred Stolen Classic will pit the Sioux City Saints Baseball Club against the Yankton Tappers at the Westwood High School baseball field in with all proceeds going to the Jorgensen family.

The tournament takes place each year but this year the event is being held to raise funds for Blake's fund.

The Saints are a summer amateur collegiate baseball team established in 1975 by Fred Stolen. The team is primarily comprised of former Sioux City and area high school players that currently play in college and return home for the summer to play baseball.

The Saints use wooden bats, play nine inning games, and have a twenty-five game schedule. The Saints are managed by Marty Pottebaum, a retired Sioux City police officer, and assisted by former Sioux City Explorer left-handed pitcher, Leo Patino.

Patino played minor league baseball with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Detroit Tigers.

The Saints General Manager is Bob Protexter, a 1985 Sioux City East High graduate, who played for Blake Jorgensen’s grandfather Don Jorgensen Sr. at East High. Protexter also played against Blake’s father, Don Jr., while playing amateur baseball many years ago. Protexter remembers ‘Donnie’ as “an imposing six foot, six inch righty that had the intimidating ability to effectively place blazing fastballs outside of the strike zone.”

Protexter is also instrumental in the quest to get baseball back into the Olympic games in 2016.

For more information on the Saints and the benefit game, visit the Saint's website.

For additional information on "Build a House for Blake"", contact Head Project Coordinator, Chad Shook at 712-946-5577, Assistant Project Coordinator, Todd Greder at 712-428-4337 or by email at houseforblake@live.com or go. The website for the fund can be found at www.buildahouseforblake.com.

Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for the Bleacher Report. Both he and Bob Protexter are supporters of A Glove of Their Own, the award winning children's story which teaches the art of Paying it Forward through baseball. When purchasing A Glove of Their Own $3.00 of every sale goes to non-profit organizations and an additional .30 goes ot buy equipment for under privileged children.

Visit www.agloveoftheirown.com to purchase the book and to pay it forward to baseball fans everywhere.


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