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Run, Jane, Run tourney might have run its course

September 18, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com
  • Dana Winters of McConnellsburg, Pa., connects with a pitch Sunday during the Run, Jane, Run softball tournament at the Pinesburg Softball Complex near Williamsport. Winters plays for Jayne Keller DMD/Peckie's Auto Body team.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — To put into perspective how many years Paula Keser has been helping organize the annual Run, Jane, Run softball tournament for CASA Inc., she has only to point to some of the players.

“Some of these girls playing on these teams are younger than the tournament itself,” she said.

That’s why Keser and co-organizer Jackie Kelley say the 20th Run, Jane, Run tournament, held this weekend at the Pinesburg Softball Complex near Williamsport, might be the last year for the event.

“We decided to hang up the glove,” Keser said. “It’s a worthy cause, but we have a handful of people who do the work every year ... and it’s just, it’s been a long time, and we want to retire on a high note.”

Over its 20-year history, the tournament has raised a net of about $250,000 for CASA, which stands for Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused, Executive Director Vicki A. Sadehvandi said. The organization helps victims of domestic violence and their families.

“Run, Jane, Run has funded all of the activities that our grants aren’t able to pay for, so to say the least, it’s just been unbelievable,” Sadehvandi said.

With 12 teams participating this year, organizers expect to raise at least $20,000, she said.

Participants eagerly support the cause not only through entry fees but by buying concessions, T-shirts and other souvenirs, Keser said.

“When they arrive, their pockets are bulging, and when they leave, they’re empty,” she said.

The teams range from highly competitive league teams to informal teams organized solely for the tournament.

“I just get some moms together, some people I played in high school with,” said Jesse Osborne of Hagerstown. “Believe me, we don’t ever win a game, we don’t score any runs, but we have fun.”

The Run, Jane, Run concept, which began in Fort Wayne, Ind., is intended not only to help fund women’s programs, but to encourage women to compete in athletic events, Sadehvandi said.

“When we started this, there were hardly any women’s softball teams in Washington County,” she said. “And there are now, and I think that speaks directly to this event.”

There were four teams in the first tournament, Keser said. In more recent years, it has included as many as 32 teams, she said.

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