The public is invited to a day of family fun at a Baseball Blast on Saturday, June 2 that will raise funds for children battling rare pediatric cancers.

The Baseball Blast will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Allen Station Park, 1120 N. Cedar Dr. in Allen. Funds raised will benefit Carson's Crusaders Foundation, a non-profit group formed in memory of Carson Richardson of McKinney.

The family fun includes a home run derby, a base running contest, and a fast pitch contest. The Frisco RoughRiders mascot, Deuce, will be on hand, as will some of the Allen Eagle baseball players. Fun activities for the younger set include face painting, hair coloring, and water balloon baseball. Various raffles will be ongoing, and prizes include a RoughRiders baseball suite valued at $1,350. Free food and drinks will be offered as well. The all-day event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The day of fun will raise funds for an important cause – children with rare pediatric cancers.

Carson Richardson was just 7 years old when he lost his battle with hepatoblastoma cancer in February 2010, after battling the disease for 3 ½ years. Hepatoblastoma is a rare tumor that originates in cells of the liver of children who are infants to approximately 5 years old. This cancer often spreads to other areas of the body, including the lungs.

Carson loved baseball and always put others ahead of himself, include his teammates. Baseball Blast organizers said Carson “never wanted to let anyone down and worked hard to be an important, strong member of his team. He would show up for practice and games no matter how he was feeling.

“There were even days when he left the hospital after receiving chemo to head to practice with his team,” said Cindy Roach, Carson's Crusaders Foundation marketing chair.

Even when cancer treatments took away some of Carson’s hearing and agility, “that never stopped him from trying, and he never gave up running as fast as those feet would carry him. He exemplified courage and heart,” Roach said.

Through their son’s lengthy battle with hepatoblastoma, Ryan and Kimberly Richardson felt blessed by friends and family who offered financial, emotional and spiritual support. However, they soon realized that not all families were as fortunate. Their desire to help others led them to found Carson’s Crusaders Foundation along with George Richardson, Ryan’s father, in October 2011.

The Baseball Blast on Saturday will join the forces of the Allen Sports Association (ASA) and Carson’s Crusaders Foundation to help raise money for families battling rare pediatric cancers. It also marks the completion of ASA’s spring baseball season, which was dedicated to Carson in two unique ways.

Throughout the spring season, baseball players turned in pledges to raise money for Carson’s Crusaders Foundation and to celebrate Carson’s character traits in others. The teams received pledge cards and worked together to earn prizes along the way.

In addition, ASA coaches received wooden “Carson coins” to be awarded after each game. A coach chose a player from the opposing team who showed the most courage and heart, and presented a “Carson coin” as an award to that child. 

“The Baseball Blast on June 2 is the culmination of a fundraiser with Allen Sports Association benefitting Carson’s Crusaders Foundation,” Roach explained. “This event is a celebration of team work, character, and community.”

About Carson’s Crusaders Foundation

Carson’s Crusaders Foundation was formed to provide assistance to families of children battling rare solid tumor cancers.  Services include travel assistance, sibling support, educational programs, and financial support to those families affected. Carson’s Crusaders received its 501c3 nonprofit recognition in October 2011. The Board and its volunteers are spending 2012 building capital in order to be able to offer services beginning 2013.

For more information, please go to www.carsonscrusadersfoundation.org.