Kickball team "Saved by the Ball" won the Kutztown Adult Kickball League's post-season tournament, which was held during Kutztown Day on Aug. 4.

“We hope that first and foremost, everyone had a great time and were able to meet new neighbors that they may not have had a chance to cross paths with otherwise,” said Shena Hesselbein, co-creator of the league. “We hope participants saw this as a great opportunity to stay active as adults and to feel connected to our community while giving back.”

Shena and her husband Brad, who was also secretary of the Kutztown Day Committee, started the adult kickball league this year as a fundraiser for playground improvements at Jolly Journeys Childcare Center in Kutztown. Their son is enrolled in the daycare and they had reached out to the families regarding the need for the playground improvements, which included shade structures, and asked for ideas.

“Growing up in Kutztown and playing sports throughout my childhood and high school years, I felt there was a great opportunity for a kickball league in town and it could be used to benefit the local community,” said Shena.

Participants in the adult kickball league included Kutztown School District residents as well as a few from the surrounding areas. Players could sign up as a team, small group requesting to be placed on a team together, or as an individual/free agent. The league sponsor is Saucony Creek Craft Brewery + Gastropub.

This was also a good spectator sport, particularly on Kutztown Day.

“We definitely had a few teams bring their enthusiastic fans all throughout the season. Families came out and cheered on loved ones and friends stopped by to enjoy the livelihood of the games,” said Shena. “The crowd was the largest for the tournament on Kutztown Day.”

The kickball league raised $1,000 toward the playground project.

“We are absolutely humbled by the response we received to the league in the first year,” said Shena. “It felt great to be active, see so many people having a good time, and be able to make such an impact in the community. Because of that, we anticipate continuing the league next year along with the tradition of using it as a fundraiser for a local project in the community.”

They encourage everyone interested in playing next year to follow on Facebook, Kutztown Adult Kickball League, and look for announcements as they begin organizing for the 2020 season.

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Lisa Mitchell is an editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers, covering news and events in the Northeast Berks County area.

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