Elizabethton softball holds annual Folds of Honor fundraiser

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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The Elizabethton and Happy Valley softball game on Monday evening was about something even greater than a softball game.

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In the annual Folds of Honor game played at Elizabethton High School as well as a car show held around the drop-off section of the school, donations were received as part of a fundraiser for the Folds of Honor scholarship program and to honor veterans as many stood alongside players for the pre-game.

Billy Sampson, an Elizabethton High School alumnus, spoke to those attending the game about the program.

Beginning in 2007, the story of how Folds of Honor was started has a unique beginning.

According to the Folds of Honor website, the program started when Lt. Col Dan Rooney returned home from his second tour of duty in Iraq. Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, witnessed first hand the realities families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled.

When his flight landed, he watched as the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin were removed from the plane and watched as his twin brother walked alongside the flag-covered casket to meet the family on the tarmac, including Bucklin’s young son, Jacob.

Since that night, Rooney has committed his life to rallying patriotic Americans and meeting sacrifice with hope through the Folds of Honor providing life-changing scholarships to the spouses of children of America’s fallen or disabled military and recently expanding to the families of America’s first responders.

Veterans Sean Johnson and John Allen tossed out the first pitches of the contest.

Admission was free at both events with donations accepted for the Folds of Honor program.

The game was sponsored by Horace Mann Insurance. Dinky Donuts was set up at the car show as well.

As far as the game, the Lady Cyclones defeated the visiting Lady Warriors by a 10-0 score in five innings.