Today is: Friday, November 27, 2020
National Award-winning,
Family-run Newspaper

Established 1891
Callicoon, NY | 845-887-5200
Monticello, NY | 845-794-7942
To immediately access any story, please enter the Story Number in the above box.
Friday, November 27, 2020

Sports > General

Filling the void

Kickout Hunger tournament to provide Thanksgiving dinner to families in need

Nov 9, 2020

By Richard Ross - reporter/photographer

The Hit Men (and two women): front row, from left, Sean Kilpatrick, Anna Puleo, Anthony Southwell, Louis Mains. Second row, from left, Anthony Southwell Jr, Eamon Andolsek, Scotty Joseph, Jesse Kohler. Back row, from left, Tyler Sands, Gavin Santiago. Missing from photo: Emily Lutz.
MONTICELLO- “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” averred Winston Churchill articulating the importance of giving of ourselves to help others in need.
In yet another instance of how people are finding ways to engage in sports during the abeyance of school related athletics due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a remarkable venture was unfolding at Somerville Field on Saturday during a gorgeous 70-degree day in Monticello.
Two outstanding citizens, Danielle Galati and Stefon McGinnis, started The Kickout for Hunger tournament. They envisioned it as a means to providing less fortunate families with Thanksgiving dinners. Of course it was joyful to see people coming together in a time when isolation has been far more prevalent than gathering during the gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As McGinnis noted, “2020 has been rough for all of us.
This right here is going to bring a little bit of joy.”
And uplifting joy it was by way of the avid response to the event which they had first conceived and then enlisted so much support for through posters and social media. Coming down the hill to Somerville Field provided a panoramic view of a game in progress between the red- jersey arrayed Taggarts and the mostly blue shirted Black Bandits. The latter team was comprised of a number of wrestlers from Monticello's grappler team. All entrants had to be age 16 and up.
As Taggart's pitcher Liz Stubits rolled the ball into play and Bandit Logan Brundage kicked it back, cheers, whoops and hollers filled the air. The Taggart team went on to win that first round game 9-3, but frankly, who won or lost was secondary. The field soon featured a tilt between the Hit Men (and two women) and the Teflons featuring co-organizer McGinnis. In that encounter, the Hit Men (and two women) prevailed and went on to defeat the Low Key Guardians for the tourney title.
Over by the field were the winning trophy, second place medals and most significantly, the Blessing boxes that on Thanksgiving Day will contain a turkey, rolls, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, sparkling cider and more for 23 families, a truly generous gift on a day when far too many people find only hunger in these hard times.
Galati noted, “We created Kickout Hunger to buy groceries for Thanksgiving for some of the less fortunate families in our community. We're so happy with the turnout. Each person gave a donation as a registration fee to play. Our goal was originally to raise about $1,500 and we've surpassed that raising $1,934. We had five teams here today with ten players each.”
McGinnis was busy filming the event but between cheers, comments and judgments about contested plays, he noted, “Our goal was to feed as many people as we could. It's great to see everyone out like this,” he observed.
Indeed, the atmosphere of the day both on the field and across much of the nation was positive and hopeful. The money that was raised over and above what was needed for the 23 donated dinners will go towards the couple's next venture, a Christmas Coat Drive for children. In a time when bitterness, rancor and divisiveness have been so prevalent, the efforts of Galati and McGinnis are a blessing, attesting to the true power of love and generosity, the very things we need to turn to now. The brilliant sunshine and warm balmy temperatures were nature's way of showing that such a shift could well have begun.

Copyright © 2020 - Sullivan County Democrat