Friends go to bat for each other. That’s the message behind Saturday’s Home Run Derby, a fundraiser organized by a group of young ballplayers who want to help the Challenger league.
The Challenger league, for kids with disabilities ranging from hearing impairments to autism, has its own field at Westside Baseball Park, off Schillinger Road at Hitt Road. There’s just one problem: the field doesn’t have lights, so the children can only play on Saturdays during daylight hours, often during the hottest part of the day.
But some of the Challenger league players’ buddies — Kailan Cooper, 16, Christian Cooper, 13, Kadie Grace Cooper, 10, and Hunter Patterson, 10 — are hoping to change that. Along with their parents — Craig and Tami Cooper and Chris and Jaye B. Patterson — and other volunteers, they have organized the Oct. 20 Home Run Derby as an initial fundraiser, with the long-term goal of raising about $45,000 for field lights.