Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Lori Brown | Democrat

For the second consecutive year, Charlie’s Angels earned the first place trophy in the Two-Pitch Softball Tournament to raise money and benefit the Alliance for Lupus Research. In the front row, from left to right, are Robyn Gannon, Jo Walls, Debbi Ackerley and Kristi Romolo. In the back row, left to right, are Lisa Krom, Shannon Dietrich, Nicki Krom, Marylou Vernooy, Karyn Sheeley, Tonya Martin and Diane Staves. Missing from photo is April Velasco.

Lupus Softball Tournament raises
about $2,500 for Karen’s Crew

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — On Saturday, dozens of players from the Sullivan County Women’s Softball League (SCWSL) came together to compete in their second annual Two-Pitch Softball Tournament to raise money and benefit the Alliance for Lupus Research.
“We raised about $2,500 from today’s event,” said Nancy Esposito, who is the Team Captain of Karen’s Crew. The money was raised by teams, vendor tables, a concession stand, donations, raffles and the sale of T-shirts.
Karen’s Crew was created to help Karen Birney of Narrowsburg, who suffers from Lupus. She is one of approximately 1.4 million people stricken with Lupus.
Since 2006, Karen’s Crew has raised more than $20,000. There is no cure for Lupus yet, so Karen’s Crew raises money by walking. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Lupus research.
Earlier this year, for the first time in 50 years, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new Lupus treatment called Benlysta. Karen’s Crew, which includes about 30 members, will be participating in their 6th Walk with Us to Cure Lupus on Saturday, Oct. 22 in New York City.
Mary Feusner and Pat Grimsley helped to organize the Two-Pitch Women’s Softball Tournament. Some of the volunteers who helped included Liz Groenhoff, Clara Shimabukuro, Rob Esposito and Anthony Esposito. The vendors for the event included Mildred Meyer with baby blankets, Vanessa Burleson with items from Thirty-one, Melissa Wright with Party Lite, Vicky Ferguson with Tastefully Simple, Janet Schwartz with Tupperware, Regina Metzner with Silpada Jewelry and Paulina Caycho with Mary Kay.
On July 1, there will be a drawing for all of the prizes donated by many local businesses. They include Bethel Woods, Regina Metzner (Silpada Jewelry), Paul Hubert (a wooden shadow box), Village Wines in Liberty, The Old Homestead Restaurant, White Sulphur Springs Inn, Second to None Pizzeria, Monticello Farm Home and Garden, Callicoon Theater and Nancy Esposito (Thirty-one).
Six teams competed in the tournament and those teams included members of eight SCWSL teams. The teams were comprised of players from Charlie’s Angels, Cooper Paint, Holiday Mountain, L&B Tack, Mike’s Tires, New Hope, Robin Hood Diner and Sonny’s. The tournament started at 9 a.m. and finished at 6 p.m., when the trophies were awarded.
Charlie’s Angels defended their championship title from last year. At the end of the day their final record was 3-0.
Sonny’s and Charlie’s Angels both traveled through the winner’s bracket. In a semifinal game, L&B Tack/Cooper Paint defeated Sonny’s, 13-2. Sonny’s final record was 2-2.
In the championship game, Charlie’s Angels defeated L&B Tack/Cooper Paint by the score of 15-0 at the end of five innings. L&B Tack/Cooper Paint, which also placed second in last year’s tournament, had a record of 4-2 on the day.
Jo Walls, Charlie’s Angels Player/Coach said, “Today was a fun day, a good day, for a good cause. Everyone enjoyed the day.”
“The girls played their heart out,” L&B Tack/Cooper Paint Coach Doug Gosney said. “It was fun like it always is. We basically played nine hours of softball today.”
Tournament Organizer Mary Feusner said, “We are pleased that the women’s teams are interested in playing in the tournament. Certainly we appreciate all the fundraisers done by the players. For a small group that participates in the walk, we opened a lot of eyes. We are in the top 10 teams that sponsor the most money.”
“I am glad we had good weather, it cooperated,” Feusner added. “Hopefully, the word will spread and more girls will join teams.”
The umpires donated their services for the wonderful cause. They included Dan Baldo, Brent Lawrence, Scott Mickelson, Angel Rodriguez and Kurt Scheibe.
“They helped the tournament run smoothly,” Feusner said.
Nancy Esposito said, “We are thankful for the [Sullivan County] Women’s Softball League and for giving the awareness to Lupus; spectators as well for coming out. We thank the girls especially for coming out.”
For more information on the Alliance for Lupus Research, visit the website Click on the NYC walk, then go to find team and select Karen’s Crew. You can make an online donation or call Nancy Esposito at 292-2683 if you have any questions.

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