Return to Headlines

Second Annual Charity Softball Tournament

The Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament is back for a second year with new goals and new ways to help children living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). The tournament, named for Otsego Coach Jake Knash’s daughter, Rylee, who was diagnosed with T1D at age 3, raises funds to send local kids to a special summer camp in Fenton, Michigan. Camp Midicha has doctors and nurses on staff that can give these campers the constant monitoring and care they need.

Many children with T1D don’t attend regular summer camps because of the care they need; with this camp, the kids and parents can go worry free with the experts on hand, “This summer camp provides them a typical summer camp experience,” Mr. Knash explains, “Their parents can feel at ease to let their children go.”

Rylee Lou softball tournament Last year, the first softball tournament raised $7,000 and sent six kids to camp. They hope to beat last year’s goal and are also expanding their proceeds to include camps for kids and additional support to families in need. “Throughout the year, we realized that camp is a great thing, but we also found families with needs that are more essential.”

There are many ways to help. T-shirts, short and long-sleeve, and sweatshirts are on sale now. You can use the online ordering link to the right or print out the order form and turn it in with payment to any of the Otsego school offices. The tournament is accepting sponsorships from businesses and individuals until mid-March. You can also make a donation online to go straight to the Rylee Lou Charity, a 501c3 non-profit. The deadline to submit business sponsorships is March 15th. The deadline to order T-shirts is March 23rd.

They want this tournament to provide help in various ways and to raise awareness, “The severity of what it entails (having a child with T1D) is what needs awareness. I think people understand what diabetes is, but they don’t understand what these kids go through. How many times they have to be poked or given shots and what these high sugars and low sugars do to these kids. It’s a lot more than just every other kid,” Knash says.

It’s been a long road for the Knash family to get Rylee’s disease into their routine and find new technologies and resources to make life more normal. This tournament has allowed them to turn their negative situation into something positive, “As much as I would love for my daughter to be cured of this disease, the goal now is to make everybody who has it, make their life, their quality of life be the best it can be.”
The tournament starts at 9:00 a.m. on April 16th at Memorial Park in Otsego.
Author: Holly McCaw, Otsego Public Schools