By Eli Ruiz
MONGAUP VALLEY June 21, 2005 Richard Morgan, retired Sullivan County Sheriffs Department Sergeant, has seen both sides of tragedy.
Morgans daughter and son-in-law were murdered a few months ago in their South Florida home.
The couples 5-year-old daughter Tia Hernlen Morgans granddaughter was in the home at the time of the murder and called 911.
As devastating a loss as this was for Morgan, on Saturday he got to see the flip side to such tragedies.
Starting at 8 a.m. that day and continuing well into the evening, a benefit softball tournament was held at Edward M. Collins Park in Mongaup Valley. The event featured softball teams representing police and fire departments from throughout Sullivan County and all proceeds from the tournament will be used to help set up a trust fund for young Tia.
Sullivan County Sheriffs Department Deputy Amanda Cox organized the event in conjunction with the Sullivan County Police Benevolent Association
After several games, a fire department division champion and a police department division champion were determined. The fire department champion, White Lake FD, then met the police department champion, Monticello PD, for the overall title.
Bob Yakin helped White Lake FD open an early big lead with a lead-off home run, followed by another four bagger in his next at-bat. White Lake FD seemed to be well on the way to victory after scoring 12 runs in the top of the first.
onship by a final score of 24-14.
Yakin was voted the tournaments MVP. He hit a total of six home runs throughout the day.
Amanda was the driving force behind all of this, Morgan said. Without her energy I just couldnt imagine this being such a success.
Cox, who at the age of 23 is the youngest member of the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department, has been with the department for two years. She thanked all of the fans who came out, all of the participating department teams and umpires.
She gave special thanks to the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department. She said that without the departments help, none of this could have happened.