Why do we ‘Wiffle’? There are a lot of great reasons

Jenny-Byxbee-greenwich-voicesDo you Wiffle? I sure do and I’m not the only one. Let me turn this column over for a moment to Erin Montague who was once the president of the Junior United Way in town and is now chairman of our annual Wiffle Ball event.

“Not long after I take my first step out of the car onto the rocky drive, I span the field for my first inspection of the day. The dust rises from the gate and I realize that I won’t be alone here for long. Looking to the gate I always see Greenwich Police Officer Keith Hirsch, Belpointe Companies Co-Founder Brandon Lacoff, Greenwich Youth Services Bureau Coordinator Jenny Byxbee and TriState LED Owner Ron Young caravanning to the tent. They’re all very different people with very different personalities, but one, and only one goal … Let’s Wiffle. Our committee has evolved over the past seven years, but I caution you to challenge anyone of our committee members past or present over the issue of ‘Why we Wiffle?’ What started as a quest to teach our youth to take ownership for their opinions, and advocate for themselves is no longer a discussion of wiffle ball. We ‘Wiffle’ to encourage community partnerships between youth and adults. We ‘Wiffle’ to teach kids to bridge the gap between confronting an issue and creating a solution. We “Wiffle” for our community: our businesses, our town parks, our cross generational relationships, our families, and our kids.”

That pretty much sums it up but I can also tell you why I Wiffle.

I believe in young people. I believe in the young people that I have now seen from their high schools days into adulthood and I believe they care about their community. If Greenwich doesn’t take care of Greenwich, who will? I believe in the Erin Montagues of the world, who push me to be my best self, who teach me never give up and most importantly never underestimate what a young person can do.

This year for our annual Wiffle ball tournament this Saturday morning at Greenwich Polo, we are at capacity with 60 teams registered for the event. We have young and old, novice to elite and in and out of towners. Our players and our large Greenwich Wiffle Ball Tournament team runs the gamut. We have players like Samuel Kies, an Old Greenwich resident who just recently ended his six-year service with the U.S. Army and plays with his family and childhood best friend from Greenwich. We have brothers Jack and Robby Barter, who rode their bikes and picked the weeds around the infield at the Byram Park trial Wiffle Ball Field last summer and play with their neighborhood friends.

These men and boys alike are the particles that form our “one team” and are prototypes of the players, but more so examples in our community, who keep coming back for more wiffle.

This year will mark our seventh anniversary of Wiffle Ball in Greenwich. I am thrilled to say despite a hurricane that came our way, our trial field was a success last spring. Once the more than 300 players have left their hearts at the Polo Club this Saturday, July 26, and our community has “Wiffled” one more time together, we will be at our final swing in constructing our permanent field of dreams. That’s what we’ve wanted all along, a chance to have a permanent field for people in town to use and now it’s happening.

For this year’s wiffle tourney at the Greenwich Polo Club, the first pitch is at 8:45 a.m. and we invite you to Wiffle with us. Grab a lawn chair and join us to cheer on the teams. We can be united and help our young people reach their goal. To be spectator is free, but if you want to make a donation of any kind, a little love will go a long way towards our final efforts for our field of dreams.

We live “United,” Play United and Win United. We, with the Greenwich United Way, continue to advocate, give and volunteer. And in July we do it when we Wiffle and we thank you all for “Wiffling” with us.

 

Jenny Byxbee is the Greenwich youth services bureau coordinator. She may be reached at [email protected]

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