Softball showdown benefits March of Dimes

Published 10:28 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

The competition will be tough.

The trash talk will be intense.

And the cause? Well, it will be a good one.

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Saturday morning, members of the Suffolk Police Department and Fire Department will square off at Peanut Park for a softball game to raise funds for the March of Dimes.

March of Dimes is a non-profit organization aimed at funding cutting-edge research and innovative programs to save babies from birth defects, premature birth and low birth weight.

The idea for the game came from some special fans of the March of Dimes.

Josh and Erin Hughes, and their daughter, Virginia, are one of the four ambassador families for March of Dimes this year.

Virginia Hughes was born 17 weeks early and weighed less than 14 ounces at birth.

Today, Virginia is a healthy and happy 20-month-old baby, now weighing in at 17 pounds.

The Hughes family has been a staunch supporter of the March of Dimes in the past and wanted to raise the ante this year.

“We were just trying to think of other fundraisers we could do to raise money for the March of Dimes,” Erin said. “We knew we wanted to do some sort of sports event.”

Erin works as a dispatcher for the city of Suffolk, and she thought there would be no better way to have the rivals square off than a good old-fashioned softball game.

“There’s always a competition,” Erin said. “The police officers and the firefighters, in any city there’s an ongoing rivalry between the two groups. It’s pretty easy to get them on board.”

And rivalries aside, Erin said, both teams are there to have a good time and raise money for a good cause.

“People are really excited,” she said. “We’ve really been able to get a lot of interest and excitement for it. We’re getting all types of participation from people. You figure that between the departments there is someone who always knows somebody who has been impacted by a premature birth. You can always find somebody who is excited with anything to do with March of Dimes.”

The game is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to benefit the March of Dimes.

For more information on the March of Dimes, visit