Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not Just Another Day

It started out as just another day on this awesome "Grace Filled Journey," but it turned out to be a day to remember.

One of the reasons that Kyle and I started this blog was to share our experiences with Grace. However, when we began, we thought that would be trips to the zoo, the movies, preschool and maybe a few other special things along the way.

We were so honored to "Step Up to the Plate for Grace" today!
But somewhere along the way, the communities in this area have truly made this such an amazing "Grace Filled Journey."  And today was no exception.

I was so excited to help Grace throw out her first pitch today.
We arrived in Morrisonville just before the start of the baseball game between the Mohawks and the Lincolnwood Lancers.  And Grace got to throw out the first pitch.  It would be her fourth and final first pitch of the high school baseball and softball season.  Her very first pitch was the game between these same two teams in Raymond.  It's just awesome to see how much love and support these kids and their families have for our Grace.

How cool is this!!!
When we arrived at the park, both teams were wearing specially made shirts that said, "Step Up and Take the Plate for Grace."  Morrisonville was wearing shirts with red sleeves and Lincolnwood was wearing shirts with orange sleeves.  Since this game was at Morrisonville, their team had graciously provided shirts for us to wear to the game, even if Kyle did take a bit of a ribbing for not wearing orange.  He was a pretty good sport about it, although I still think he's going to try and find an orange shirt.

Kyle has asked me for the last two games if I wanted to help Grace throw out a first pitch, and I said no the last time.  But I figured this was my last chance to help her with one of them.  So, I said I would give it a try.

Check out Grace's cool new commemorative base. We are planning to hang it up in her room.
They called us out to the field, and the first thing I noticed that they had written "Step Up to the Plate for Grace" on the actual home plate. How cool is that!  We were really impressed, and fortunately for me, Kyle didn't take Grace's stroller all the way to the pitcher's mound.  I didn't have to help Grace toss the ball very fall, which was good, because it still bounced in the dirt before it got to the catcher.  But I'm so glad I had the chance to help her with one of her pitches.

After she threw out the pitch, the Morrisonville coach talked to the crowd a little bit about our story and presented Grace with another shirt matching ours, except more sparkly. She also got a Morrisonville baseball and a commemorative base donated by Schutt Sports and decorated by Lela Ferrill.  We can't wait to hang it up in her room.

Grace's biggest fans, MHS teachers Janet Walch and Patty Christian brought her all sorts of goodies.
Then we settled in to watch the game with Grace's fan club, including Grandma and Grandpa Galer, Grandpa Herschelman and her cousins, Kayley and Kensey Armour, who doted on her the entire time we were there.  We also enjoyed many goodies from the concession stands, and the team was donating 50 percent of the proceeds to the INAD study.

Kyle (with some help from Kayley and Kensey) take their shot at the fundraiser.
After the third inning, they had another fundraiser planned.  For $1, anyone could buy a small baseball and then toss it onto the field, trying to be the closest to the base near the pitcher's mound.  We got three, and Kyle, Kayley and Kensey had fun throwing them out.  It turns out that Grace's Grandpa John has a really good throw, and he won and donated the money back to the study.  And he was really excited to win.

Grandpa John takes his pitch at the fundraiser, and he won!
Both teams also had another fundraiser, they had pledge sheets where you could pledge a player for how many singles, doubles, triples and home runs he would hit during the game. The teams are planning to present checks from both special games at the upcoming regional tournament in Lincolnwood within the next few weeks, and it will be very well used in the research study.

We are SO honored all these players and coaches have joined our journey.
But whether the donation is $1 or $1,000, we feel so honored that these teams have asked us to be part of such special games this year. To be able to make such amazing memories with Grace is something we will always remember.

We will always hope that one day Grace will be able to run across home plate on her own!
Yup, just another awesome day in this "Grace Filled Journey."


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