Red Hook held its first annual community fundraiser softball game on Friday, July 13. And the game, pitting the professionals of the fire and police departments against the Red Hook high school all-stars, wasn’t even close.
The all-stars sent Elizabeth Brisley, named Daily Freeman all-star pitcher, to the mound for five innings. The combined might of Red Hook’s fire and police departments could only muster one run against her.
Even after a pitching change and a return to slow, dropping pitches, the team of fire and police officers lost 14-8 in seven innings.
“We’ve got to slow that pitcher down next year,” said Police Sergeant Patrick Hildebrand. “She’s pitching something like 70 miles an hour and we’re just not used to fast-pitch softball.”
On the other hand, he added, the fundraiser game “is a good event. It’s the first annual event, so it’s not a big turnout, but I think that in the future we’ll have a bigger turnout, and that it gives kids a chance to meet emergency personnel face to face and get to know them.”
Northern Dutchess Communities That Care, according to event coordinator and staff member Wendy Brisley, “organized this event to raise awareness of our organization. But the foremost reason for why we’re doing this is because we are looking to do this as a yearly event to fund our fire department and police department, and also to bring the kids together for awareness of the firemen — they’re always in need of volunteers — and getting acquainted with our policemen.”
While the Red Hook Rec Park event was sparsely attended the coordinators hope it will grow in popularity by next year with the inclusion of wacky, per-inning rules like “only bunting and batting with your weak hand” according to Brisley, and “the inclusion of town officials,” according to event organizer Karen Jerro.
In addition to the softball fundraiser, Communities That Care, which began in 2010, hopes next year to raise money for a community center in the village of Red Hook. Jerro said the center would have “structured activities for the youth,” including athletic and educational programs, and would also be open to residents of the surrounding area.