Rockford partners host kickball tournament, spearhead hurricane relief effort

By Jim Hagerty

ROCKFORD — A growing Rockford community service organization is partnering with several organizations to benefit local athletes, and help Harvey relief in Texas.

Saturday, Sept. 2, The Fatherhood Encourage Project will host a kickball tournament at the Mercyhealth Sportscore One. Partners include the Rockford Park District, Rockford Police Department, Food 4 Fuel, Insurance King and attorney Christopher Reese. Forty percent of proceeds will be donated to an area school’s athletic program chosen by the winning team.

“We are excited to continue our community partnerships and bring another positive event to our city,” said Dan Petrie of the Fatherhood Encouragement Project.

The tournament runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sportscore One is at 1288 Elmwood Road, Rockford.

Petrie’s organization and sponsors are also collecting donations to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Volunteers will collect donated items at Sportscore on Saturday. Petrie said his organization is looking for toiletries, gently used men’s clothing and empty gas cans to help motor boats navigate the floods in Texas.

“These are very important items we are going to collect,” Petrie said.

Other donation sites are District Bar and Grill, Onyx Bar and Grill, Epilepsy Foundation and the Rockford Police Strong Neighborhood houses on Irving, Revell and 8th avenues. Cash and check donations are also accepted.

Donations will be loaded into a 26-foot semi-trailer and driven to Waco, Texas, where they will be picked up for distribution in Houston.

“The Fatherhood Encouragement Project has been planning this and the kickball was supposed to be our fundraiser for the ministry and things we’ve got for the rest of the year,” Petrie said. “But now, [Hurricane Harvey] trumps all of that.”

Other sponsors include Beneath The Beard and the City of Rockford.

Petrie founded the Fatherhood Encouragement Project two years ago with a small group of dads. Today, the rapidly growing group helps mentor mothers and fathers be better parents and takes part in regular community service events. Petrie is also a best-selling author and speaker. R.

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