Charity softball game will benefit Alzheimer's Association
STATE COLLEGE – Sometimes, this life hands us the opportunity to make a difference, to support a cause, to make a change — and for someone other than ourselves.
Sometimes, a Celebrity Softball Tournament is all it takes to do that.
David’s Dreamers, a team that walks to end Alzheimer’s, will be hosting a charity softball tournament to raise money for Alzheimer’s awareness.
Mike Mister created the team for David Thompson, a 55-year-old man with Down Syndrome who now is battling Alzheimer’s.
Mister has been working with special needs individuals, in recent years, Thompson being one of them.
“When he developed Alzheimer’s, I started seeing the change in him and it was just heartbreaking,” Mister said. “This disease really cripples the person you once knew. The team is trying to raise money for research, so that less people in the world have to know what that’s like.”
Mister fell into working with special needs individuals; he works for Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc. He would shovel snow for Care For People Plus, for some extra money.
“But Care For People Plus saw my work ethic and soon I found myself working with these individuals,” Mister said. “I never considered it before, but it’s so rewarding. I have a whole new appreciation for these guys and how amazing they can be.”
Mister works on teaching them life skills, how to blend in with the general public by having necessary skills like budgeting money, shopping, health and safety and other day to day task.
One day, Mister got to work with Thompson, who once was a Gold Medal Winner in power lifting at the World Special Olympics, in California the 1990s.
“When I first met him, I realized he was quicker than me when it came to the comebacks and having a smart mouth,” Mister laughed. “He loves everybody. He’s not afraid to tell anybody that he loves them, and he means it.”
So when Thompson developed Alzheimer’s, Mister felt personally connected to the Alzheimer’s Association and decided to start a team and raise money for the man full of love for the world.
Thompson’s sister and family and friends joined the team, a team that was named David’s Dreamers.
This softball tournament is just one of the many ways Mister tries to gain support.
The game will take place May 5, at Hess Field in State College. The game starts at 7:30 a.m. and run all day, with the “celebrities” Mister invited participating in a Home Run Derby at noon, then the celebrity game directly after.
Some of the celebrities attendees and supporters will get to see are: Josh Hull from the National Football League (NFL), Wally Richardson from the NFL, Juqua Parker from the NFL, and Patrick Chambers, the head coach of the Penn State men’s basketball team.
But that’s not the only perk for the game.
“We’re going to be selling food, hosting raffles, signing autographs and just celebrating a good cause,” Mister said. “It’s important to come on out and see some of your favorite heroes play but be heroes yourselves, for coming and supporting this cause.”
You also won’t want to miss Thompson throwing the first pitch at the game, Mister revealed.
“I can promise you that when he’s on the mound and there will be everyone watching him, he’ll spice it up and make a grand entrance,” Mister said. “He’s been a showman all his life.”
Food includes hot dogs, burgers, drinks and milkshakes. Each purchase will have a dollar donated to the cause.
Sponsors will also attend the event and will be set up at different tables; if you want to be a sponsor, email Mister at email@example.com.
Mister wants everyone to know that in coming, they’ll be helping to fight for a cause that has roots in goodness, love and support. No one can do this alone. Mister wants to help Thompson and all those who fall victim to the disease.
“Everyone that knows David has something to say for him,” Mister said. “He’s got a giant heart — the biggest in the world.”