Semi-celebrity softball tournament raises money for athletic department

By Ryan Land
Sports Editor

The first annual Semi-Celebrity Softball Classic took place on Aug. 29, raising $1,850 towards Crowder athletics, while topping off a busy first two weeks full of activities to welcome students back to school.

Two teams came together to participate, but it was team “white“ that came away with the victory against team “black“ in front of many members of the community, students, and faculty.

“It was greater than what I could have hoped,” said Mark Aubuchon, Campus Life Director. We wanted to finish off the first two weeks of school with a fun event.”

Aubuchon mentioned that having an event that combined members of the school with citizens of the community has never been done before at Crowder.

“We wanted to plan an event where we combined students with staff with faculty with community members,” Aubuchon stated. “We’ve never done that before in this kind of way.”

The “white” team, coached by head softball coach Lori Videmschek, consisted of celebrities Eric Crosswhite, KSNF-TV of Joplin; Corey Roy, Neosho High School Athletic Director; Valerie Garrett, Crowder alumni; Kim Smith, Crowder basketball alumni and Garrett Crane, Sports Locker. Crowder players consisted of Glenn Coltharp, Tiffany Slinkard, Wade Williams, Angela Seymour, Chris Fenske, and Randy Dunn.

The “black” team, coached by head baseball coach Travis Lallemand, consisted of celebrities Les Rainwater, Family Market; Richard Davidson, Mayor of Neosho; Johanna Rowe, Neosho YMCA; Aaron Werner, Baptist Student Union, and Bruce Boatright, Neosho Graphics. Crowder players consisted of Dr. Jim Cummins, Mark Kalmbach, Katie Strohl, Dr. Kent Farnsworth, Jason Edgar, and Christina Cullers.

Brad Smith, head men’s soccer coach and physical education instructor, and Tina Robbins, head women’s basketball coach and physical education instructor, served as umpires of the game.

JP Dickey, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs; and Keri Keckley, Speech instructor; emceed the event.

Sponsors for the event included 4-States Maintenance Supply, Great Western Dining, Manpower United, Lowe’s of Neosho, La-Z-Boy, Splitlog Painting, Fortune Garden Chinese Buffet, Sherwin Williams, Neosho YMCA, Cheezie’s Pizza, Best Western, Scholastic, Pepsi, Crowder Foundation, Edgewood Bowl, Wiseman Tire, and Crowder Professional Staff Association.
Neosho Graphics and Sports Locker sponsored the team shirts.

Plans are currently in place to have the event next year, but a date has not yet been set.