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Time is running out to register for Pepsi Softball Marathon

Friday is the final day for teams to register for the 18th annual Pepsi Softball Marathon to benefit Easter Seals of Blair and Bedford County. There are two divisions, mens and co-ed that will play ball over three days on nine different fields in Blair County.
WTAJ-TV 10 and WPRR-FM have been part of the marathon since its inception and will play their annual grudge match Friday night at Fairview Park in Altoona.
“Over the years, Easter Seals has become a big part of my life,” said WPRR Program Director Tommy Edwards. “I would do almost anything for the Easter Seals.”
The money raised from the weekend long marathon helps children with disabilities in Blair and Bedford Counties.
Not everyone gets to see the work that Easter Seals does for children, but seeing the work makes Edwards more determined to help out.
“Seeing the kids makes me want to do more than I could possibly do to help out,” said Edwards. “We’re very happy to be part of such a great event.”
WPRR would like to score a victory against TV-10 next Friday night.
“It’s been a while since we won,” said Edwards. “I’m going to be like Joe Namath and predict that we will beat TV-10 this year.”
“This is my favorite charity event,” said WTAJ Sports Director Kellie Goodman. “The softball marathon benefits a great cause. When you see the faces of the kids who benefit from what we do, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
When asked if there is a prediction, Goodman said, “We hope to have 10 players to start the game. I don’t make predictions. I love being a part of the Softball Marathon and we’ll have some fun.” Goodman was a former PSU softball player
The Softball Marathon is a huge fund raiser for Easter Seals.
“Last year, we grossed $48,534,” said Donna Wassell, the Events Projects Specialist for Easter Seals of Blair County. “This year we have 106 teams entered which is the most we have had in our 18 years. We still could use four teams and you have until Friday to register.”
To register for the Easter Seals Softball Marathon, you need to raise $300 for your team of 12-20 players.
Matt Hoover has been a part of the Easter Seals Softball Marathon for 17 of the 18 years.
“A friend of mine wanted to put a team in the first tournament so we did,” said Hoover. “We missed the second year, but we have been back everytime. This year we have a mens team and a co-ed team and we even stooped low enough to let Harlow play.”
Letting me play is one thing, but Hoover will probably always be a part of the Softball Marathon.
“Helping the Easter Seals is a feeling you can’t describe,” said Hoover. “I’ve walked through the Easter Seals a few times, and all you have to do is go through once and see the difference that these people make, and you will always be back to help when they need it.”
The highest fundraisers last year were, First Place: Giant Eagle Roaring Spring – $3,035, 2nd Place – Bedford Reinforced Plastics – $2,261, 3rd Place – Hoss’s Steak & Sea House – $2,067.
Games will take place at Columbia, Garfield, Eldorado, Leopold, Oak Ridge/10th St, Prospect, Juniata and Fairview in Altoona and at Ferner Field in Tyrone.
“The proceeds from the Softball Marathon stay here,” said Wassell. “The money helps pay for physical, speech and occupational therapy, helps a family if a child needs a wheel chair, helps buy hearing aids. Playing ball can make such a difference in the life of one child.”
The Easter Seals still needs volunteers to help with the Pepsi Softball Marathon. To volunteer, call the Easter Seals at 944-5014.