FSSA News and Events
June 28, 2014 - Celebrity Softball Game for Charity in Ferndale, Michigan
The World Champion Hollis Appraisals 60 major plus softball team played in a successful celebrity softball fund raiser on June 28, 2014 in Ferndale, Michigan just outside of Detroit.
The charity event raised over $20,000 and benefitted the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland and Macomb Counties. The Hollis Appraisal team has won the world championship the past two years in Las Vegas and successfully played three games on Saturday. The team has a history of charitable events as they have played the past two years in the Goodwill Games in the Dominican Republic where they donated over 4,000 items of sporting goods such as baseballs, over 700 bats, gloves, cleats, jerseys, etc. to the improvised youth in several village towns.
Big Jack Aronson, the founder of Garden Fresh Salsa and the inspiration behind the fund raiser was thrilled with the turnout and grateful for the Hollis team paying their way to Detroit for the event and exhibiting some outstanding softball. “These guys are simply amazing. They are the best players in the world in the 60 and over division and yet they continue to give their time, effort and money to help those less fortunate. I’ve played on some great teams in the past but these guys are truly special and I have been touched!”
The team opened the event by thoroughly roughing up the Wayne – Oakland Police team. The Hollis team pounded home runs and turned double plays as the police team looked like they were handcuffed. The team then played along side the numerous celebrities including Amy Andrews, Taryn Asher and Jason Carr of Fox 2; Mark Hackel – Macomb County Executive; Ike Blessitt -former Detroit Tiger; Daniel Hush Carlisle – Rapper/DJ; Stan Clarke – former Toronto Blue Jay; David Coulter – Mayor of Ferndale; boxer Willie “Fortune 500″; Kerri Gallagher – Staff of Detroit Tigers; Eddie Mio – former Detroit Red Wings; John Ogrodnick – former Detroit Red Wing; PAWS – Detroit Tiger mascot, Dave Reneski; – World Champion in Samurai weapons, Rich Strenger ;and – former Detroit Lion, Alexandrea Thrubis; Tom Timmermann – former Detroit Tiger; and Marty Turco – former Dallas Stars & U of Michigan goaltender.
Both celebrity teams played hard and the crowd loved the action. The final score was 17 to 16 with the team coached by Ed “Big Poppa Pump” Rose squeaking out a thriller. “This was a lot of fun and was for a great cause.
The Salsa King, Big Jack Aronson, put together a great day and it was an honor to bring our team up to the Detroit area to play.” The losing coach, the Big Boss Man, Audie Hollis was equally as impressed with the events. “I’m so proud of our guys and the effort they made to get here. We try to play 10 national tournaments a year and then add in several charity events which makes for a full schedule. These guys besides being quite simply the best players are great men of impeccable character. I’ve heard so many bad things about Detroit that I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was very similar to all of the major cities in Florida, a beautiful area with great people.”
The third game of the day was the most competitive as the “ole men” from Hollis squared off against the best young men’s team in the area. Hall of Famer, Roger “Touchdown” Tabor noted that, “the flat belly boys are fast, have great arms and remind me of what we looked like 40 years ago.” The Hollis team took a commanding early lead riding home runs by Bob “Wally” Woldyk, Steve ‘Dinger” Dorrell, Mighty Mark Thomas, Big Jack Aronson and Hall of Famer Dave Reed.
The young guys used their speed to close the score but Hollis won the game 22 to 20. One young athletic player was heard saying, “I’m not going home and tell my family I got beat by a bunch of 60 year olds, I’m going to tell them I got beat by better players!” The festivities concluded with Big Jack Aronson being award the Ray Odom Humanitarian Award which is giving by the Florida Senior Sports Association to one person each year that has exhibited outstanding character and has given of them selves to help others.
FSSA president, Audie Hollis noted that, “as we age and get older, we’ve been through all the things in life and we now realize when we quit looking at ourselves what is important. It is to give back, be a leader and show the youth the way to go!”
Jack Aronson talked about his own growth over the years. “I’ve changed. I used to be real competitive, a little bit of a bad sport,” he said. “But as I got older I started getting the game and I know that you only get one chance to make an impression with the guys you play with. …What’s more important, you getting a hit and everybody think that you’re an idiot, or that you’re trying your best for your team and being respectful to the other guys?”
As the dust began to clear and the crimson sun began to set, the Boys and Girls Club Chief Operating Officer Brett Tillander exclaimed, “If you ever wonder why this country is so great, its days like this. All of you who took the time to come out here and care about a cause bigger than yourself as we raised over $20,000 for the organization which will enable 800 deserving boys and girls to have a membership for a year.
Mike “Magic” Monnier, the fastest 60 plus player on the planet along with his side kick, Ed “Plaid” Carrington invite the public to come watch the old guys play as Team Hollis next tournaments are in Dalton, Georgia for the SPA National; the ISSA National in Manassas, Virginia; the SSUSA World Championship in Las Vegas; the Villages Championship in the Villages, Florida and the SSUSA Winter Nationals in Ft. Meyers, Florida. The day was a success which reminds us of a quote attributed to Winston Churchill, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give!”