Champions Giving Back in final stretch

Greg Vincent (center with towel) is shown with players from last year’s alumni game that raised $22,000 for the family of Owen Matthews. This year, the goal is to raise $100,000 for five charitable organizations through a series of fundraising events.

The Champions Giving Back fundraising event is nearing its close, and there are still many ways that people can contribute to benefit four local charities and the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

Champions Giving Back is a product of the Post 68 baseball team in Eddyville, which hopes to raise $100,000 for the Cullen Brown Foundation, Lara’s Celebration, Nonnie’s Place and the Wounded Warrior Project.

The idea to host an annual fundraising event began last year, when the team held an alumni baseball game to raise money for the family of Owen Matthews, who died last November from a rare form of cancer. The fundraiser brought in $22,000 for Matthews’ family.

Greg Vincent, the coach of the Post 68 baseball team in Eddyville, said things have been going well thus far.

“We haven’t had the activity yet that we’re hoping for, but people tell us that it’s the last week to 10 days that you get all the activity,” he said. “We’ll have so many tents set up with vendors and lots of apparel and fundraising items.

“Last year, we had such a short time to put it together, but we did that from just donations and the home run derby that we had and the alumni players. This is something that we tried to make bigger and better. We’ve been working on it since December, and it’s been great. It’s been a lot of fun — it’s been a lot of work.”

Dick Vitale of the V Foundation has played an integral part in providing items for the online auction, including basketballs autographed by Michael Jordan, Ja Morant, Anthony Davis, Rick Pitino and Juwan Howard, as well as distillery products, grills, clothing and more.

The event began June 1 with the business challenge set up by Lyon County Sheriff Brent White, Eddyville Police Chief Jamie Green and Deb Domke, the executive director of the Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce.

Post 68 also began an online auction that day, featuring items autographed by sports stars. Auction items and a means of bidding can be found at champs68.afrogs.org. The bidding closes at 10 p.m. Saturday.

The fundraising event also consisted of a bourbon tasting event on May 20 at Eddy Creek Resort. Bottles of Post 68 Baseball Bourbon were sold for $168 for large bottles and 100.68 for smaller bottles.

The highlight of the fundraising event is the fifth annual Chappel Allen Invitational, which features eight baseball teams from Mayfield, Madisonville, Frankfort and the host Post 68 team along with teams from Newburgh, Indiana; Rockport, Indiana; Westmoreland, Tennessee; and Nashville, Tennessee.

The invitational will be played at Lee S. Jones Park in Eddyville.

Here is a look at this year’s Chappel Allen schedule, featuring 12 games and a Saturday night home run derby:

• Thursday: Post 68 vs. Mayfield, 5:30 p.m.; Mayfield vs. Madisonville, 7:45 p.m.

• Friday: Flyer Baseball (Nashville) vs. Madisonville, 5:30 p.m.; Frankfort vs. Mayfield, 7:45 p.m.

• Saturday: Madisonville vs. Newburgh, 9 a.m.; Frankfort vs. Bandits (Westmoreland), 11:15 a.m.; Rockport vs. Frankfort, 1:30 p.m.; Newburgh vs. Bandits, 3:45 p.m.; Post 68 vs. Flyer Baseball, 6 p.m.; REZBATS Home Run Derby, 8:15 p.m.

• Sunday: Flyer Baseball vs. Rockport, 11 a.m.; Flyer Baseball vs. Newburgh, 1:15 p.m.; Post 68 vs. Rockport, 3:30 p.m.

Vincent credited Post 68 General Manager Bob Harbison, Jeff Darnall, White, Green, Dep. Sam Adams, Deb and Phil Domke and Judy Driggers with helping with the success of Champions Giving Back.

“They are the main players in everything we’ve done,” Vincent said. “I can’t say enough about Deb Domke. She is the one who got us in contact with Staley Payments and Auction Frogs to take this thing nationwide.

“It’s just exciting to see the way everybody’s taken hold of this thing and helped out. It really is.”

Information about Champions Giving Back and the fundraising events associated with it can be found at www.post68baseball.com.