Rodd's Ramblings... Sometimes 'thanks' doesn't cover it all
Too often we take things for granted. Our lives become routine and we forget to stop and enjoy the moments around us that make every day special. Last weekend, while at the Ashley Abrahamson Memorial Softball Tournament, I managed to find a few m...
Too often we take things for granted. Our lives become routine and we forget to stop and enjoy the moments around us that make every day special. Last weekend, while at the Ashley Abrahamson Memorial Softball Tournament, I managed to find a few moments to soak in the atmosphere of a wonderfully run tournament and decided it would be a good time to thank a few people for a job well done.
First of all, the family of Ashley Abrahamson should be commended for their participation in the event and their dedication and hard work. The entire Abrahamson clan, along with extended family, participate in the two-day event to help ensure the memory of their daughter, sister and cousin will live on. Thank you.
To Ron and Sarah Tondryk, who have been with the tournament from the start, you both deserve a huge thank you from everyone in the community. Ron and I were Ashley's coaches at the time of the tragic accident that took her life along with Tom and Marcia Braun. From the beginning Ron made this tournament happen and with the help of Sarah, who was one of Ashley's best friends, they have cultivated this living memorial into a very special event.
My thanks go out to Jeff Woollett and Kenny Joyce, along with all the members of the Cloquet Youth Baseball/Softball Association who work so tirelessly in keeping the fields in top shape, selling T-shirts and hats, and generally making sure that this is a premiere event in the Northland every season. The people on the board work countless hours to make the park a special place and last weekend it wasn't just special it was magical. Thank you.
For those of you who were unable to attend there were 25 teams entered in the tournament with over 300 players participating. The Braun Park complex was an ocean of different colors with teams from all over Minnesota and northern Wisconsin wearing their jerseys and uniforms with pride.
The tournament has begun to take on a life of its own as more and more teams begin to flock to our little corner of the state to play in a tournament that means so much to those of us who knew Ashley. Thank you for coming.
One of the most exciting events during the tournament is when they announce the Ashley Award winners and bring those players out to the field to be honored with a special award which exemplifies the traits of Ashley Abrahamson. During that time I watched off to the side as one player from each team was introduced. As I was standing there, a player from out of state began to ask questions about what was happening. I told her what the Ashley Award was, and what it stood for, and she said to me, "I wish I could have met her." At that point I told her I had coached Ashley and that I know she would have like her because everyone did. To say the least, it was very emotional and I had to politely excuse myself and find somewhere that I could be alone. To that player, I say thank you for taking a moment to find out about our tournament's namesake.
B&B Market had a full staff on hand to sell burgers and brats, ice cream and water and generally make sure nobody went away without a chance to fill their stomachs. As always B&B delivered with class and smiles.
The event is meant as a celebration and it was. There was cheering, great play, intense competition and a lot of good softball. It was what Ashley would have wanted.
To the community of Cloquet and all of Carlton County, I issue you a big "thank you!" Thanks for supporting the tournament and thank you for attending the tournament and making it such a huge success.