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Rose’s Rebels Have Taken the Field . . . again!

friends-of-rose-softball

Welcome to Sayreville, New Jersey.

Sayreville Memorial Park Sign

One year ago, this place was one of the many communities impacted by hurricane Sandy. In fact, the ballfields at Sayreville Memorial Park were underwater. The community around the park . . . devastated. Community around Macarthur Ave Twelve months later there remains an entire block of abandoned homes still cordoned off by the state.

Jersey Strong

But despite last year’s storm, not everything in Sayreville is underwater and drowned out.  Life rebounded. Spirits remained strong – Jersey Strong – as some were quick to tell me as we sipped hot “cawfee” and settled in for a classic fall softball tournament.

I was welcomed to Sayreville by a great group of ball players, friends and family members of our longtime advocates Rose and Eric Hausmann. Nothing says “Welcome to Jersey” like a brisk fall day, an amazing pot of chili and softball games that are raising money for a cause near to each of us – colorectal cancer.

Eric stirring his AMAZING Chili

Over the weekend, I was inspired by the spirit and energy of the EIGHTEEN softball teams that came out to compete in the 4th Annual Friends of Rose Softball Tournament. Over 200 supporters and spectators celebrated and rallied around the fight for life and supported colorectal cancer survivor Rose Hausmann. (I think they might have come for Eric’s chili, too!)

Softball Banter

A softball tournament has quite the mix of people with varying personalities that come out to play. Some teams come for fun. The hardcore teams come looking for bragging rights and a trophy. Either way around it – everyone comes out for the cause. The tournament started at 8am, team eliminations began at all five fields with two chances to move on. There were strict guidelines regarding the play with ASA CO-ED rules being applied. This was no joke.

Rose ready to take another swing

Eric has coordinated the event for the past four years and this year actually had to turn down team registrations due to limits in the size of the park.

The Hausmann’s could have easily picked a different venue but Sayreville Boro Hall softball fields are home. They both grew up in this neighborhood and have family all around. The community lives for these gatherings.

For all practical purposes, THIS was a family reunion of sorts – just with balls and bats and LOTS of banter.

I wish I could repeat most of the softball banter I witnessed. It’s always good-natured and you never take it personally. Especially when most of the players are family. But some of the shenanigans that did happen on the field invoked many smiles and added to the laughs that made this day so special:

“Is there a ‘Mercy Rule?’ . . . you’re never gonna get out of the first inning.”

“Barry Manilow is batting.” (you just had to see this guy)

“RUN, you’re the fastest runner we got!!!” as the hitter is literally limping to first base.

After several swings and misses at bat: “He’s struggling like a little person at a urinal.” ( I had to replace “little person” but you get the idea )

More than Softball

More than a softball tournament, this annual event was a fundraiser and inevitably, an awareness event for colorectal cancer. Towards the center of the park was the main tent. Here, additional fundraising activities were coordinated including the sale of some amazing food, t-shirts and a raffle of donated items, one that included a 50″ TV.

Friends of Rose SWAG

Distributed materials related to colon and rectal cancer stressed the importance of colorectal cancer screenings and knowing your family history and the symptoms. Whether they came for softball or chili – everyone left knowing about colorectal cancer.

We All Love Rose

It was no surprise that despite the chill in the air, there were plenty of smiles from many friends who volunteered to help and come out for this annual event. For those of you who know Rose and Eric Hausmann, you know why.

FriendsRose2013_121010

Despite her struggles with the disease, Rose fights every day. And it was evident from the softball tournament, her family fights every day, too. It was especially neat to see this particular event – it was a multi-generation show of support. Sons, daughters, nephews and nieces, grandsons, sisters and parents – all attended to show support.

It was literally a small army of fighters and words can’t express the love and support they showed.Eric and Fam

Roses Son & FamDSC01717 Smiling Support

To top off the day, the Pink Heals Fire Truck also made an appearance.

Breast cancer doesn’t own the color pink, women do.

This truck, the cornerstone of the Guardians of the Ribbon Pink Heals Chapter in central Jersey, came out to show love and support to its namesake – Rose. With close to 100 Pink Trucks nationally honoring women who are fighting cancer, it was a thrill to see Rose’s truck out at the event proving that blue and pink go together very nicely!

Pink Heals Central New Jersey Chapter

Pink Heals Central New Jersey Chapter

Supporting the Fight against Colorectal Cancer

Portions of the event’s funds were raised for Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Call-on Congress Scholarship fund, as Rose and Eric are key players and contributors to the advocacy efforts of Fight Colorectal Cancer. We couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity and support of these fundraisers!

David Dubin Alive and KickingThe event brought out press, family, friends, neighbors and supporters.

Our good friend David Dubin from Alive and Kickn made a cameo too.  He, like myself, came in layers ready to brave the cold Jersey day.

On the side line at Friends of Rose Softball event trying to stay warm!

I’m on the sideline at Friends of Rose Softball event trying to stay warm!

I lost count of how many amazing stories and conversations I had the good fortune to witness. There is always fun and excitement in being part of such a warm and caring event.

As a member of the Fight Colorectal Cancer team, I was honored to be a small part of this event and share in the love and passion that Eric and Rose bring to the table. It was a true honor to spend a day in Jersey with this family and watch some softball.

More about the Hausmann Softball Tournament:

See pictures on our  Flickr account.

Learn more about the Friends of Rose fundraising events.

Learn more about hosting your own fundraiser for Fight Colorectal Cancer.

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