Tournament of Hope kickball tournament, fun-filled day for all

The 16th Bi-Annual Tournament of Hope kickball event kicked off on Friday, April 7. The games were well attended, action packed and highly competitive (but all in good fun)!

The tournament was started years ago by Marc Community Resources, Jewish Family and Children’s Services and Partners in Recovery and began with just four teams and a hundred participants. It has grown to more than 10 teams and over 300 in attendance.

The Master of Ceremonies for the April 7 event was Lydia L’esperance, Employment Vocational Administrator at Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care. In true Lydia style, she welcomed the participants and reminded them that while the games are competitive, the goal of the day is to have fun, meet new people and make new friends.

Teams from all over the Valley’s behavioral health community woke up early and came together at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. It turned out to be a hot day, but everyone kept cool. In addition to kickball, there was music and dancing, popcorn, snow cones, delicious catered lunch (thanks S.T.A.R.!) and tons of fun.

The day was an unforgettable one. Each team put forth their best effort while showing resilience and positive attitudes. An atmosphere of togetherness was apparent to all. It was this widespread feeling of community that made every participant, and attendee, a true winner.

After a series of hard fought games, Maricopa Integrated Health System took 3rd place. A New Leaf took 2nd and Recovery Empowerment Network took 1st place!

In all of the closely contested games, every player showed resolve and excellent sportsmanship. Such a display made the Maricopa Health and Wellness Association proud to be the event’s key organizer.

The day truly shined a light on so many wonderful people. We can’t wait until the next tournament in the fall!