McKINNEY (April 17, 2015) — McKinney baseball fields will be filled with thousands of youth baseball players, their families and baseball fans for the Fifth Annual Strikes Against Cancer Charity Baseball Tournament being held the weekend of May 1-3. To mark the special anniversary year, the public is invited to enjoy not only baseball competition all weekend, but also to join the ballplayers and their families for other activities.
“This year is our fifth anniversary, so we’re adding to the weekend-long baseball fun by hosting a free concert at the Ball Fields at Craig Ranch on Friday evening,” said Adam Cox, president of Strikes Against Cancer. “We’re inviting the entire community to join the competing teams for this Friday night kick-off event. The McKinney community has been so supportive of this event since it started, we want Friday evening to be a real community celebration.”
Photo by tomK Photography
Geordon Cox (left) with McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller at the city’s annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Ceremony held earlier this year.
In addition to the concert featuring the Good Question Band (one of DFW’s top cover bands), a Games 2U video game truck will be onsite as will a variety of bounce houses.
Saturday’s activities start at with a “Field of Hope” coach-pitch event featuring high school players and coaches from both McKinney and Melissa.
“The Saturday morning event is a reunion of my son Geordon, who is the Strikes Against Cancer founder and now a high school pitcher for Melissa High School, and his best friend, a catcher at McKinney High School, Mike Goller,” Cox said. “Both high school teams will be participating on the fields where Geordon and Mike’s hopes of becoming high school baseball players began. These younger ball players look up to the high school players so we thought having the older players involved with the younger players would definitely add to the fun and excitement of the weekend.”
The Strikes Against Cancer mission began as a gift from Geordon, then 11, to his mom Lisa who was battling cancer. He promised to pitch strikes for her with spectators donating money for each strike he threw. Soon, his entire youth team was participating, and the idea for Strikes Against Cancer was born. The organization hosts youth baseball and softball tournaments with 100 percent of the net donations from their fundraisers being given to research organizations.
Geordon lost his mom (and Adam, his wife) to the disease in late 2012. This strengthened the young baseball pitcher’s resolve to continue fighting cancer “one strike at a time.” To date, SAC has raised more than $100,000 for cancer research.
“We already have over 450 teams signed up for this year’s tournament and we are projecting as many as 525 teams being our final number. Based on our previous success, we estimate that this year’s event could draw upwards of 39,000 participants and fans representing various regions of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma,” Cox said.
Because of the Strikes humanitarian mission, its positive focus on the McKinney community and its positive economic impact from the visitors it brings to the City of McKinney, the McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau presented Strikes Against Cancer with its 2013 Tourism Partner of the Year Award. The organization also is a grant recipient of the McKinney Community Development and in 2010, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller proclaimed the first weekend of May each year as Strikes Against Cancer Weekend in McKinney.
“It’s amazing to think this idea started out with a little kid and a mayor!” Cox said.
Friday’s opening Celebration Family Event starts Friday, May 1 at 6 p.m. at the Ballfields at Craig Ranch, 6151 Alma Road in McKinney. The “Field of Hope Game,” at the Gabe Nesbitt Community Softball Fields at 3205 Alma Road in McKinney starts Saturday, May 2, at 9:30 a.m.