A whopping $2,980 will be split between two boys with serious health issues - thanks to the team efforts of the orange shirted Franklin Township Old Timers and the red shirted Jim Thorpe Old Timers and many others who helped raise the funds.
The 2011 Russell "Bups" Ahner Memorial Softball Game was played on Sunday at the Phifer Ice Dam Park to benefit Luke Hartrum and Hunter Wolfe, both of Jim Thorpe.
Wayne Wentz, president of the Franklin Township Athletic Association, said that this year's event had the best attendance of any game, plus raised the most money.
The Jim Thorpe team won over the home Franklin Township team with a score of 20 to 19. Somewhere in the seventh inning of the game, the score board registered an extra 10 runs for the home team to boost their moral and from then on the Franklin Township added seven runs to bring up their score.
The day was one of pleasant rivalry as the teams fielded the game. Franklin Township players had trouble from the start by hitting a lot of pop up flies that were caught by the Jim Thorpe players.
The real winners in the game were the two boys who have very serious health problems. Wolfe was not able to attend the event because his health had taken a turn for the worse.
Every year for about 10 years, the two teams have picked up their bats and balls and put on their team T-shirts to play a benefit softball game for someone with a health problem.
Team members for the Jim Thorpe team were: Wally Wallace, Leo O'Donnell, John Searfoss, Neil Yurchak, Eric Frantz, John Otto, Tony Wolfe (Hunter's dad), Jeff Scott, Kevin Binder, Bill Lynn, Andrew Lynn, Bill O'Gurek Jr., Sean McFadden, Jim McHugh, Wes Holmes, Craig Zurn, David Zurn, Jim Zurn, Charlie Getz and William O'Gurek.
Team members for the Franklin Township team were: Bob Kintz, Steve Bottcher, Brian Steigerwalt, Terry Strausberger, Larry Keller, Lonnie Behler, Karen Newton, Cory Sherer, Troy Breiner, Tony Fristick, Mike Galasso, Larry Ahner Sr., Larry Ahner, Joe McGinley, Billy Fisher, Vince Williams, Dave Getz, Chris Fredericks, John Venuto, Tim Wagner, Donnie Bloom and Mel Everett. The umpire was Pop Lynn.
Among the others assisting at the event were Leo O'Donnell, Luke's mentor at the L.B. Morris School, Kelly Scott, Luke's personal care assistant; Regina DePuy, Luke's classroom teacher; Brenda Pekurny, Luke's bus driver: and Tiffany Montefour, Luke's nurse.
Food was prepared by the Franklin Township Little League, plus there was a bake sale and Chinese auction with a variety of donated items from local businesses and friends, plus a hat was passed during the game for additional donations.
A "Moodlight Dance" organized by Ss. Peter and Paul School Student Council will benefit the boys will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27, at the school for. All local grade students in third to eighth grade are invited. The dance will be held outdoors, weather permitting. Jasmine Mooney is on the dance committee. For additional information, call 610-377-4466. A donation will be requested at the door.