Really cool ideas here Livastride, really cool for these kids who are growing up in a different world. This is exactly why we have and will always will drive up to Morgan from Eagle Mt, Saratoga Springs, Lehi areas to take part and support you.
On behalf of my team, keep doing what you all do, thanks for all you do – it is needed and greatly valued/appreciated.Andy Fullmer
OUR DECISION NOT TO HOLD THE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT & HOME RUN DERBY
For 6 years Livastride has organized and hosted a baseball tournament the July weekend immediately following the 4th of July weekend (better known to local competitive baseball teams as “Firecracker Weekend”). Our goal was to provide a quality tournament filled with fun, great baseball and charitable emphasis for northern Utah baseball players, fans and communities. We developed new ideas for great raffle prizes like composite bats, gloves and signed baseball cards by the likes of Yogi Berra, Carl Yazstremski and Nolan Ryan. The Home Run Derby became a big hit and the adults soon became as competitive as the kids. All of this took a tremendous amount of effort to organize each year. The tasks and back-room work to pull this off in a professional manner grew and grew. Often times we received undue tongue lashings from super ego Dad’s, Mom’s and coaches over issues we had no control over or because their team didn’t win a game or make it to the championships game because of a rule that failed to serve them in the pursuit of winning at all cost.
These unfortunate instances grew each year as more teams entered the tournament and more adults lost sight of the true reason we were going to such great lengths to put it on. Volunteers were the secret to our success and they deserve all of the credit. In recent years we saw a decline in the number of volunteers willing to help. We also grew very frustrated with our umpiring situation. Nearly each year we changed arbiters in hopes to finally lock down someone who would provide us with reliable umpires. For the most part, we were very pleased with our umpires. They worked hard and did a great job. However, we always had the handful who made us look bad either by failing to show up, leaving early or doing a bad job.
And finally when two other local tournament directors chose to mirror our tournament by offering home run derbies and even changing their tournament to coincide with our exact July dates, we were put into a no-win situation. Our efforts are 100% charitable. No one at Livastride makes money on our events, our director is the only person who draws a salary and that amounts to a paltry $1000 a month gross.
I am proud of what we did, taking the tournament from 4 teams in the first year to over 50 teams and from 25 entries in the home run derby to well over 300. The vast majority of the participants, coaches and parents were awesome. They showed respect for the game and for us at Livastride. To all of you, I say “thank you”.
The funds raised in these events were used in various ways, Number one, it costs a lot to run a tournament. Field rental fees, umpire wages and championship trophies (just to name a few) totaled easily over $15,000 each year. We were proud to use funds to offer college scholarships, grief support for families losing a family member to suicide, hosting financial literacy programs for thousands of local students and donations to local kids who are struggling to overcome a severe hardship. Kids like Camron Talbot who has a rare form of cancer and has been through more than any kid should ever have to in a struggle to survive.
Will we ever host a baseball tournament again? Perhaps, perhaps we could regroup and recharge, especially if enough of you want to see it happen again. Until then we welcome your comments and once again say thank you for supporting Livastride and all it stands for.
I want to thank you for what you are doing. This foundation is wonderful and dear to our families heart. We have lost three family members to suicide. Our brother took his life on July 29th, 2013. It was the end of baseball season and a day before my sons 11th birthday. He was my sons baseball coach. We participated in the Livastride tournament in Morgan in 2015. It was by far our family’s favorite tournament. I know our brother was with us that day, I have a feeling he helped my son have an awesome hit over the fence. Since then, we have lost a cousin to suicide.
Our poor grandmother lost three grandsons to suicide in six years. I want to tell you to keep up the good work. I know the importance of awareness, and talking about our feelings. I talk to my boys often about suicide, we cry together a lot. I feel we need to discuss it because it runs in our family. My son will be participating in this year’s tournament. He will be on a 13U team. I wish I had the funds to donate to this wonderful foundation, but I don’t right now. I am however willing to donate some time if needed. Thank you again for raising awareness on this subject. I am so sorry for the loss of Brody. If I can help in any way, you can contact me anytime. God bless you allAuthor Anonymous