The third annual Strike out Cancer 4 Collin Boyd Tournament will kick off Friday night with a concert under the stars.
The Chris Wayne Band will be at Faulkner Park at 8 p.m. on Friday, gates open at 6 p.m. and the concession stand will offer home cooking. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the concession stand at Faulkner Park, as well as D-BAT, 4715 Candy Lane; or Tyler Athletics, 5201 S. Broadway Ave.
Starting with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, 27 teams, or about 310 kids from Rose Capital West Little League, will play games throughout the day. There also will be a concession stand, dunking booths and a home run derby. Silent auction items will include signed memorabilia by Nolan Ryan, Prince Fielder and Johnny Manziel.
Collin’s Little League started the tournament to raise money for his medical bills after he was diagnosed two years ago with undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma.
Collin, 10, had a baseball-sized tumor in his lower abdomen, which metastasized to both lungs. After 35 radiation treatments and six rounds of chemotherapy, the tumor was removed in 2012, and he was declared in remission. Collin celebrated one year being cancer-free in November. But on Dec. 30, doctors found a spot on his lung. In January, he had surgery to remove it and remains in remission.
Collin, a fifth-grader at Owens Elementary School, has been playing baseball since he was 4 and plays second base on the Rose Capital West Little League White Sox team and the Tyler Jaxx Select team.
“It’s a team sport, and it’s competitive. I’m really competitive,” Collin said of why he likes to play baseball, adding that it also allows him time with friends.
His father, Jimmy Boyd, coaches his Little League team and helps coach his select team.
When his teammates and coaches came up with the idea to put on the Strike out Cancer 4 Collin Tournament, Collin said, “It made me feel like a bunch of people really cared about me.”
Now, his family is continuing the tournament for the third year to raise money for other children. Boyd said they raised about $25,000 last year for Jett Moore, of Bullard, and believes they’ll raise even more money this year.
Funds raised this weekend will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each year, Make-A-Wish North Texas grants more than 500 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, representatives have said.
“Make-A-Wish was chosen as this year’s beneficiary because of the wonderful things they do for the kids,” Collin’s mother, Kalisha Boyd, said. “They fulfill wishes and for a short amount of time, that child is not thinking about doctors or appointments, tests or treatments.”
She said the wishes granted are all about the kid and all about what makes them happy.
“Make-A-Wish helps to make dreams come true and we are honored to be a part of that,” Mrs. Boyd said.
Make-A-Wish sent Collin and his family to Hawaii in August and he visited Maui and Honolulu, Collin said, adding that he toured the islands from a helicopter.
Boyd said they wanted to continue the benefit baseball tournament in Tyler because “we felt overwhelmed by the generosity and we in turn wanted to give back to the community.”
He said they also wanted to keep it going for Collin.