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Jenks Gazette


Jenks Celebrates America’s Favorite Pastime, ‘Buddy Style’

By BRENDA MELANCON

BASEBALL BUDDIES: Freshman Jenks baseball player Trent Taber and Kade Legnon from the Autism Center of Tulsa take a time out from the game.


Courtesy Brenda Melancon


Jenks Trojans Baseball, in collaboration with the Autism Center of Tulsa, held its annual Buddy Baseball game Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 at Hinch Field in Jenks, Okla. The annual game benefits children with autism from the Jenks school district and surrounding area.

This was the fourth year Jenks Baseball has hosted this event. “It is an honor and privilege for us to host this event,” says Jenks Trojans Baseball Head Coach Dennis Keeley. “The program has grown each year and the players look forward to this event and building these relationships,” added Keeley. Each child was paired with a Jenks baseball player who shadowed him in a game of baseball. Parents cheered on their kids from the stands, while buddies assisted the players with hitting, running, and fielding.

The warmth of camaraderie and compassion on the baseball field that day renewed everyone’s faith in the goodness of the human spirit.

After an afternoon of fun for all, the players were awarded trophies and enjoyed pizza donated by Hideaway Pizza.

Additional Buddy Baseball sponsors were Webco Industries, TGI Enterprises, World Baseball Outreach, The Trojan Shop and the Jenks Trojan Print Shop.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, I am so appreciative of the time and effort the Jenks High School Baseball players, coaches, and booster club put into making this, a special day for our kids.” stated Jennifer Sollars Miller, co-founder of the Autism Center of Tulsa.

Buddy Baseball was conceived by former Jenks Trojan baseball infielder Mike Sartin, who approached his former Jenks High School teacher John Miller and together with John’s wife, Jennifer Sollars Miller, Buddy Baseball was born.

The Autism Center of Tulsa’s mission is meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by autism and related neurological disorders to improve quality of life. The Autism Center of Tulsa provides programming that supports its mission in a variety of ways, including community awareness and outreach, early screening and intervention, safety, parent and professional information and training, as well as family support and on-site resources. For more information on the Autism Center of Tulsa, go to www.autismtulsa.org.

Jenks Trojans Baseball is committed to excellence both on and off the field, winning 6A State Championships in 1997, 2000 and 2002. For more information on Jenks Trojans Baseball, go to www.jenksbaseball.org.

Updated 12-19-2010

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