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Softball league scores one for the good guys

Published: Sunday, July 21, 2013 12:30 p.m. CDT
(Lathan Goumas -
Jeff Telson of the Saint Peter and Paul softball team places his hat over his heart opening day ceremonies for the new South Conference of the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League at Lions Park in Cary. Coaches from the league will play police officers and firefighters in a softball game to raise money for FISH of McHenry.

In this case, the good guys do always win.

As part of an annual effort to raise money for the FISH of McHenry Food Pantry, the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League is hosting its Good Guys vs. Good Guys softball game at 4 p.m. July 27 at McHenry Township Park, 3703 N. Richmond Road, Johnsburg.

Area police and firefighters will take on the coaches from the church league, with raffle drawings every third out during the 9-inning game.

Among the raffle items are a color television, a diamond necklace, a weekend getaway at Sen. Pamela Altohoff's Springfield apartment and other prizes, said Doug Peterson, the league president. 

And with donations, local "celebrities" can sign up to be a "Celebrity at Bat."

"We're trying to get local business leaders and elected officials and educators and such," he said. "If they want to help the cause, they can sponsor themselves for a single at bat."

He encourages others to come watch, as the event typically draws spectators. Hot food provided by the McHenry Moose Lodge, a corn roast and ice cream is offered.

Last year's event raised about $9,800. Because every $1 given to the food pantry accounts for about $10 worth of food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the funding translated into $98,000 worth of food, Peterson said.

Peterson came up with the idea for the event after hearing about the food pantry's struggles. He already played softball with friends in the McHenry Police Department. 

The game will include McHenry Police Chief John Jones as well as McHenry Township Fire Chief Tony Huemann and their combined police and fire teams. 

McHenry Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Tim Stewart will serve as emcee. And during the seventh-inning stretch, children will be invited to run the bases and get a treat at home plate.

A free post-game concert, along with a few surprises, are planned, as well.

"It seems like every year we get a little more people," said Peterson, who hopes to see at least a couple hundred people attend. "It's a 9-inning game and lots of great raffle prizes, good food, and we just encourage the community to come out and support this."

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