Adam Edwards describes himself as an “everyday, ordinary guy” who loves to play softball. But The ChadTough Foundation and the Carr family see him as much more.
They see him as someone with a generous heart who took his passion for softball and shared it to do good. They see him as someone who gave freely of his time to host the ChadTough Softball tournament, raising thousands of dollars towards DIPG research and awareness.
Softball Leads to a Greater Purpose
Adam grew up in Saline and went to Saline High School where he enjoyed playing baseball.
“As a teenager, I didn’t always make good choices and, in fact, I was quite the troublemaker,” he said.
Shortly after graduating from high school in 1999, he knew he had to turn his life around and he was starting down the right track. It was then that a friend of his invited him to play on his church softball team. Because Adam always loved baseball, he thought he would give it a try.
He played in a couple softball games and really enjoyed it, but then his friend told him he should also attend church services. Adam was reluctant, but went to church. Surprisingly, he felt quite at home there, quickly realizing the power of God and prayer.
A Connection with the Carrs
As time went by, Adam met his wife, Amanda, and settled into Saline with his family. While he never personally knew the Carr family, Adam and his wife were deeply saddened when the news broke about Chad – Jason and Tammi’s sweet blonde haired, blue-eyed boy — whose world dramatically changed overnight with the diagnosis of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
They began to follow Chad’s painful journey via Facebook posts from Tammi. Having small children of their own, they instantly shared in the family’s sadness and thought, “this could have easily happened to one of our children.”
Wanting to help, they turned to the one thing they knew … prayer. They continued to follow Chad’s story and prayed daily for Chad and his family.
When Chad lost his battle to DIPG on November 23, 2015, Adam found himself wanting to do more to help. But what could he do? After all, he was just an “everyday, ordinary guy.”
Dedicated to Making a Difference
Adam decided to take his love for softball and raise money for The ChadTough Foundation. He planned a ChadTough softball tournament in June 2016 in which all proceeds would go to support DIPG research and awareness.
While Adam was nervous at first, he was absolutely amazed by the community support. Anyone he approached for a donation quickly agreed to help. Adam used social media to get his information out about the tournament and that was a huge help for attracting teams.
Within no time at all, 16 softball teams had signed up for the tournament. Local sponsorships came easy: food and drinks were donated for concessions, softball fields were donated, umpires donated their time, and $5 per t-shirt and hat sale went directly to ChadTough.
The tournament was not only successful, it was a fun weekend for all who participated! The inaugural event raised nearly $5,000, prompting Adam to turn it into an annual event.
In 2017, the number of teams increased to 21 and they raised almost $8,000.
Looking Ahead to 2018
Next year’s ChadTough softball tournament is slated for June 2018. Adam expects the numbers to keep growing. The experience of putting on the event each year has made a positive impact on he and his family and he encourages others to become ChadTough Champions.
“If you have a certain passion and a reach to a community of people, you should use it to help others,” he said. “Not only is it rewarding to know you have helped, but it gives others the opportunity to join you to raise money to find a cure for DIPG.
“You truly can make a difference no matter how big or small your event is.”
For more information on playing or donating time or goods to next year’s ChadTough Softball Tournament, visit the event page on Facebook.