Update 4/13/18: The Tournament has been postponed due to the weather forecast. We'll update you when it is rescheduled.
April 14th will mark the fourth year for the Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament at Memorial Park which promotes awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and strives to improve the quality of life for children who have Type 1 Diabetes. The money raised is used to send kids with T1D to summer camp. Otsego High School head softball coach Jake Knash, and his wife, Sarah, started the charity after their daughter, Rylee, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age two. She is now seven years old. “We both knew that we had to embrace the disease and make the best of a bad situation. We all know that life throws tough situations at us and we have to figure out how to handle it and keep a positive attitude,” Jake says.
“The disease is a day-to-day struggle trying to keep her blood sugars in a normal range. My wife and I have to work extremely hard to monitor this as Rylee is too young to manage it herself,” Jake explains. This struggle is why the charity raises money to send kids with Type 1 Diabetes to Camp Midicha, a summer camp specifically for kids with T1D; it is staffed with medical personnel who know how to care for kids living with this disease.
The Rylee Lou Charity has been fundraising since January and has already topped $6,000 but the need is greater and they would love to send as many kids to camp as possible. They specifically fund the $750 camp cost for students in Allegan County. In the last three years, they have raised more than $20,000 and sent 20 kids to summer camp.
They are currently collecting business and individual donations and will be selling t-shirts; they will also hold a “Dine to Donate” event at Pizza Hut on Wednesday, April 11th. The tournament serves as the big event to bring awareness and have a final push for donations. It is a fun day for the teams and participants. All participating teams wear red in support of the cause.
“Overall, I think this disease has made Rylee a stronger little girl. She has to deal with some things on a daily basis that most kids don't have to. She is always very positive and does not let this disease hold her back,” Knash adds.To make a donation or find out more about the Rylee Lou Charity, visit their website www.ryleeloucharity.com or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ryleeloucharity/ or click on the donate button below. And mark your calendars for April 14th to show your support and join in the fun!