Jon Sternberg photo
Vikki Odum, left of the trophy, and Dana Parks, right, pose with winning team of the Stomping Out Cancer softball tournament, The Trophy Hunters of Union County.
Battling cancer with softball tournament
By Jon Sternberg
The resounding, solid ping of a hard swung aluminum bat hitting a softball, the heavy thwack of a ball hitting a glove, the cries of glee and despair from teammates and spectators and the smell of barbecued hamburger and hot dogs were in the air Saturday at the ball fields of Carrier Mils.
The Carrier Mills Fire Department sponsored a softball tournament called Stomping Out Cancer to raise money to help two local women bravely battling cancer. This event benefited to the families of Dana Parks and Vikki Odum, to help them cope with the expenses of successful cancer treatment. Dana is the mother of an infant son named Isaac, who was present with his family at the tournament. These two women, who are both battling a second round of cancer, are residents of Carrier Mills. Dana is the wife of Jeff Parks, a village employee, and Vikki is the wife of Kendel Odum, a village firefighter. Both families have long-standing ties to the community. Many area businesses and citizens contributed their time and money to help these brave women financially, in their time of need.
“If it wasn’t for the businesses that helped us, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much for the families,” said Cindy Murphy.
The community pulled together to provide emotional and financial support for their families and show an outpouring of love and concern.
“The fire department always wants to help,” stated Audie Murphy, one of the event’s organizers.
Saturday saw teams from all across the area gathered in Carrier Mills to play and contribute to a good cause, and have a good time in the process. As the day passed the play-off teams came down to Dorrisville Baptist Church, I’d Hit it and The Trophy Hunters, with Dorrisville Baptist losing to I’d Hit It and taking the third place trophy. The teams of I’d Hit It and The Trophy Hunters played a long, hot, sweaty game with frequent need of liquid refreshment, at the Carrier Mills High School ball field as the sun set. With The Trophy Hunters losing to I’d Hit It, 35 to 5, the teams transferred to Mike Lawrence Field and played the last game under the lights, as the teams of The Trophy Hunters and I’d Hit It fought it out for first place. After seven hard, rugged innings, the team of The Trophy Hunters from Union County took the first place trophy with a score of 13 to 5, to the tumultuous applause of the fans of both teams.
Page 2 of 2 - As the sportsmen and sportswomen retired to their cars, the event organizers, Audie and Cindy Murphy reviewed the day.
“We did well for Vikki and Dana,” said Cindy Murphy, adding “Raffle and T-Shirt sales were very good!”
Geoff Absher, a Carrier Mills firefighter commented, “We had a very good turnout, a good crowd, it was a good day!”