GLADWIN – A big thank you to everyone who attended the winter party for “The Boys of Summer”, Saturday evening, Feb. 3. Over 285 guests attended the event and enjoyed James Cahilellis, Director of Game Day Experience and Community Out Reach for the Great Lakes Loons, and former Detroit Tiger and MLB Pitcher from 1979-91, Dan Petry. Dan spoke about playing baseball as a youth, in high school, on an American Legion team in California, then getting drafted from high school to the minors where he worked his way up the ladder one level at a time to the Major League Detroit Tigers in 1979. In 1984, Dan was an outstanding pitcher for the World Series Champion Detroit Tigers and had an 18 win – 8 loss record. In 1985, Dan was a member of the 1985 American League All-Star Team.
Guests enjoyed a delicious buffet meal and shared in winning approximately $25,000 in prizes. We wish to thank our major donors, Maier & Associates Financial Group, Lakewood Shores Golf Course, Detroit Pistons, Riverwalk Place, FED Corporation, Dave Spencer, Austin Pahl, George Corlew, Lori Molesworth, Kathy Songer, Great Lakes Loons and 100.9FM ESPN, MidMichigan Health – Gladwin, Hall-Kokotovich Funeral Home, Arnie Hilts Catering, Doug Larner, Super 8 Motel, Northwoods Wholesale Outlet, Sleep Inn, Eastman Party Store, Dan Dan the Mattress Man, Sugar Shack Party Store, Myers for Tires, Surveying Solutions, Inc. – Adam Ball, Buffalo Wild Wings, Subway – Mark Schwager, Baseball Heaven, Stryker’s Lakeside Marina, Design, Gladwin High School Athletics and Maintenance, Graff Motor Sales, Jenkins Jewelers, Quality Truck and Auto Accessories, Krapohl’s Ford and Lincoln. LaFontaine Automotive Group, McMonald’s, DeShano Foundation, Rich Roehrs, Sisson Fumeral Home, Bob Schafer, Mike Perry, Ed Rachawitz, 103.1 WGDN-FM, Dirt Nap Taxidermy, The Gladwin County Record, Gladwin Community Schools, WBMI 105.5FM – Mike Fleming, Jay’s Sporting Goods, Gladwin Tank Manufacturing, Kable Thurlow – Auctioneer, Knights of Columbus – Gladwin, Bill Bauman, Arden LaPalm, Larry Ulbrich, Family Fare, Culligan Water, Frank’s Great Outdoors, Emma Lou Brasseur, Janet Wilz, Troy Gary, Dennis Cantrell and Gladwin County American Legion Post 171 Members. Special thank you to all the players, parents and coaches who work so hard to make this event a success for 22 years now.
A special thank you to my wife Eileen and son and daughter, Scott and Alicia for their endless hours of help in putting on the fundraiser and items they donated. Without their help, it would not be a success. We, also, wish to thank all the coaches, parents and players for their hard work and the other many donors in Gladwin, Beaverton and the whole Mid Michigan Area for their many thousands of dollars in donated items. The funds raised at this year’s party will allow us to run the Gladwin American Legion Baseball Program again this year – our 27th season since starting the program in 1992.
Winners of the Grand Prize Raffles were Tracey Vannest, Gladwin – 4 Rounds of Golf at Lakewood Shores in Oscoda; Adam Smith, Shelby – 4 Detroit Red Wings Tickets vs the Carolina Hurricanes and a limo ride to Little Caesars Arena; Martin Eltzroth, Clare – 55” LED Smart HDTV; Earl Gerard, Coleman – Savage Arms 30-06 Rifle with 3-9 Power Bushnell Scope.
Our mission is to give the very best baseball players in the area the opportunity to improve their skills against the best competition in the state and to advance to play at the collegiate level. In 26 years, over 300 players have played Gladwin American Legion Baseball with over 100 players using their high school and Legion experience to move on to a college baseball career. Forty-five players from GHS and 31 from BHS have been part of the AA Gladwin American Legion Program since 1992.
The Gladwin Post 171 Team had a successful season last summer finishing with a 23-17 record and winning the 8 Team Bernard Barnes-DeShano Construction Invitational. Post 171 finished runner-up to State and Great Lakes Regional Champion Midland Berryhill Post 165 and hosted the Zone Tournament. Post 171 will host the Bernard Barnes Memorial Baseball Invitational Tournament sponsored by DeShano Construction and held at Wilmot Field on June 14-17, 2018.
This summer, we will again sponsor the Gladwin Lightning Team, a Class “A” American Legion Team. They are coached by Troy Gary. They play in three tournaments during the summer. They hosted the 2017 Zone 4 and Class A American Legion State Tournaments with teams from Gladstone, Menominee, Houghton Hancock, Gaylord and Hudson.
Come out and enjoy great baseball action as both the Post 171 and Lightning Teams will be playing in the Bernard Barnes-DeShano Construction Invitational and all their regular season home games at Wilmot Field throughout June and July.
Thanks, again, to everyone for supporting the Gladwin American Legion Baseball Program, our Winter Party for “The Boys of Summer” and the best baseball players in the Mid Michigan Area. And please support all those businesses that so graciously contributed to the success of our fundraiser.