Benefit baseball game
Gail Maholick/TIMES Each of the boys diagnosed with cancer received a check of $1,250 raised by a softball game between the Franklin Township Old Timers and the Jim Thorpe Old Timers. From left are Wayne Wentz, head of the Franklin Township Athletic Association; Larry Ahner Tristan Wentz, Nathan DeKorte and Jim Zurn, organizer of the Jim Thorpe Old Timers Team.
Despite a rainy Sunday morning, the Franklin Township and Jim Thorpe Old-timers Game was held and the rain held off.
Since 1985, the Franklin Township Old-timers and the Jim Thorpe Old-timers have played a benefit baseball game to help with the medical costs of someone in the community who has a serious health problem, usually a child.
To celebrate the 25th year, the proceeds were split between two 13-year-old boys, Tristan Wentz and Nathan DeKorte, both of the Lehighton area, who both have serious health problems. Each boy received $1,250 from proceeds raised at the game.
Wayne Wentz of director of the Franklin Township Athletic Association and Jim and Craig Zurn of Jim Thorpe coordinated the donations and game.
The game was played at the Phifer Ice Dam Park field, 880 Main Road, Lehighton (Franklin Township). The Franklin Township Little League Senior Boys and Senior Girls will play a prebenefit baseball game for the community's enjoyment. Heading the Chinese auction was Donna Ahner.
The game was a close one throughout the eight innings, with the score ending with Jim Thorpe ahead 8 to 7 for Franklin Township.
Playing for the Jim Thorpe Old-timers team were Dave Zurn, Craig Zurn, Jim Zurn, Randy Rabenold, Neil Yurchak, John Otto, Charles Getz, Bill O'Gurek, Kevin Doll, Brian Hawk, Greg Steigerwalt, Mike Pope, Leo O'Donnell, Ted Dedinsky and Louie Hall.
Franklin Township Old-timers team members were Bob Klotz, Jim Rex, Glenn Hibbler, Larry Ahner, Donnie Bloom, Brad May, Tim Wagner, Donnie Rehrig, Tony Fristick, Mike Galasso, Todd Weaver, Jeff Smith, Denny Getz, Chris Fredericks, Lenny Hardy, Todd DeKorte, Cory Sherer, Steve Bottcher and Arron Pretko.
Sponsors of the event were, C&S Railroad, Jim Thorpe Rotary Club, Jim Thorpe Lions, Jim Thorpe National Bank, Jim Thorpe Area Sports Hall of Fame, Randy and Ruth Rabenold, David and Dawn Zurn, Redline Floor Covering, Craig and Lisa Zurn, Charles and Carol Getz, Jerry Thomas, and Carbon Masonic Lodge, 242.
A few months ago sixth grader Tristan Wentz began getting headaches. He is the son of Nicole and David Semmel of Mahoning Township. He is a student at Lehighton Area Middle School.
A CT scan showed the mass in his brain. Tristan was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma by doctors at Children's Hospital. Tristan's tumor was at the top of his skull.
Nathan is the son of Todd and Kathy (Becky) DeKorte of Forest Street, Towamensing Township.
In November 2009, Nathan complained of back pain under his shoulder blades. After a whirlwind tour of various doctor's offices for three weeks, the family's chiropractor recommended an MRI, which revealed a tumor on his spinal cord. Nathan underwent surgery immediately and had radiation in Boston.
Nathan is home-schooled.
Over the past 25 years, the Old-timers game has had a variety of players, including many Franklin Township Little League coaches and county officials.