MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Fringe Little League Association will kick off its Fourth Annual Coaches Softball Tournament Thursday at the Lewis W. Hall Field in Barrackville. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Child Life Program at West Virginia University Children’s Hospital.

“It is the hope of the coaches that news of this positive gathering of caring adults beyond the walls of the hospital will not only uplift the spirits of the sick children, but also teach the members of the Little League teams about the love that comes from giving and sharing with those who are sick and lonely,” Chris Funkhouser, Fringe Little League Association president, said. “Nothing is more beautiful than the smile of a child and nothing is more rewarding than giving them a reason to smile.”

The association is composed of the Marion County Little League baseball teams from Mannington, Farmington, South Marion, Fairview, Barrackville, Rivesville, Monongah, Clay-Battelle and East Marion. Games are 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The tournament began when the coaches’ suggested that their players see them demonstrate the fundamentals of baseball through softball. Since its inception in 2007, the tournament has raised more than $17,500 for WVU Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program.

One of the main components of the Child Life Program is play, an important part of children’s lives. During times of stress, such as hospitalization, play can provide something safe and familiar – an opportunity for children to express fear, anxiety and misunderstandings about their hospitalization. To encourage playtime for pediatric patients, WVU Children’s Hospital has an activity center equipped with toys, video games, an air hockey table and other child-friendly items.

For information on the softball tournament contact Larry Kincell at 304-825-1415.

For information on WVU Children’s Hospital see

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 09-27-10