(photo courtesy Wayne's Wiffle For a Wish Facebook page)
There are moments in life where you witness humanity at its pinnacle. Those moments seem rare, and you might not expect one to occur around plastic bats and balls. But…
On Saturday morning, dozens of folks gathered for the 11thseason of Wayne’s Wiffle for a Wish. The annual pilgrimage of some young and NOT so young former athletes living that dream one more time to benefit Make a Wish in Maine. The “dream” of being a kid which is taken away from too many kids too early in life.
This stat hurt much more than any sting of that little white plastic ball with holes. According to a representative from Make A Wish, over 90 kids per year are granted wishes at an average of $ 7,000 per wish. A wish for this year’s ceremonial first pitch kid was a new playground at his home due to his restrictions.
You may remember young Brady Nickerson of Glenburn. Three teams entered this year’s event in his honor and many of them are in the photo including his dad Preston (above pic, far left)
First thing in the morning, despite the wet conditions, two of those teams, loaded with friends and family of Brady, squared off against each other in the Executive Division.
As I watched from the side, there were no sad faces, no protesting of any calls, and score didn’t really seem to matter. Brady Nickerson was truly a great kid who touched many people. That was made clear through the actions of his peers on this day.
What amazed me even more were the two parents, Preston & Angel (perfect name), were not only able to smile with the kids, but continue to set the same example which was set for Brady. They are still hurting for sure, but the gleam in each of their eyes, though moist, was a sign of healing for them and the community. Have not doubt, that though he was not here physically, Brady was here with us today and smiling proudly!
The efforts of Wayne, family, friends and associated Wifflers have raised over $ 110,000 to go towards granting those wishes. That’s a lot of wishes over the years!! Wayne keeps lots of stats for the event, but what cannot be measured are those healing moments which take place not just for the Nickerson’s, but many families in our great state. For all of the volunteers, participants and especially donors; thank YOU! See you next year.