Fairfax County, VA - The Freehold Boro Bulldogs went on the road to play in a tournament, but wound up a part of something much bigger.
The travel baseball team of 12 and under kids from Freehold Boro journeyed to Virginia to participate in the Kyle’s Kamp Memorial Day Wood Bat Tournament. Before they went on the road the team embarked on a fundraising effort - getting a boost from the Freehold Rotary, which provided the financial support to enter the team into the tournament - and then the players raised nearly $3000 for Kyle’s Kamp.
The goal of the event was to raise $250,000 for Children’s National Medical Center to boost the pediatric cancer research efforts in honor of seven-year-old Kyle Hahne, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in October, 2010. The Bulldogs more than doubled the event goal of raising $100 per player and the event, which included opening ceremonies at Nationals Park in Washington, DC, has already raised more than $400,000.
On the field the Bulldogs played well, but were knocked out on the second day of play. The sting of the defeat was tempered when the Bulldogs were asked to meet with the second baseman from the squad that beat them, the Potomac Riverdogs, Gavin Rupp, and his father. The 12-year-old Rupp played despite having undergone 15 months of chemotherapy for a brain tumor. The Rupps thanked the Bulldogs for their participation, their play and their fundraising efforts. Rupp's father tearfully told the players, "What you've done is bigger than you realize."
The Bulldogs are coached by Brian Belka and included 13 players - Mike Belka, Roberto Reyes, Andy Freyre, Mark Costanzo, Ricky Coyne, Joe Galatro, Lucas Staples, Colin Popper, Skylar Hulse, Thomas Hulse, Jose Romero, Joey Hynes and Matt Krauss. One other member of the Bulldogs, Mike Piscopo, could not play in this tournament because of an age restriction.
For more information on Kyle's Kamp please visit www.kyleskamp.com.
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