The event itself involved 15 members of the DSL and 21 children from a local orphanage. It was funded by donations, weekly raffles and money raised from league merchandise sales this year.
The DSL donated the necessary softball equipment, as well as jerseys and hats for each of the children.
After arranging the kids into teams, some of the league’s veterans held introductory training sessions to clarify the rules and give advice on how to play. Although not all the advice was remembered in the ensuing game, the participants had a lot of fun.
|Children and volunteers participate in a softball competition run by Daegu Softball league in partnership with a local orphanage. (Jeff Molasky)|
This is the first in a series of events planned by the league over the coming months.
The league, which started in 2007, has been growing in popularity, and members agreed it was an appropriate time to do something positive for the community as a group.
One of the event organizers, Dustin Waters, who has lived in Daegu since 2003 felt that it was time to give back to the local community that has helped him and his family enjoy a comfortable life here,
‘’Daegu has meant a lot to me and my family. It has been our home for over a decade and we are very grateful to have such a good life here,” he said. “This is just a small token of my appreciation to the community that has given me so much.”
A group of players from the league also wrote personal letters to each child at the orphanage; the beginnings of what could be lifelong friendships.
The day concluded with everyone enjoying dinner followed by an award ceremony for both teams. The children also each received a gift pack.
Rob McClure, along with his wife Ray and 8-year-old daughter Hannah, has laid the foundations for these ongoing charity events and expects them to continue for the foreseeable future.
“The director of the orphanage has opened their doors to us for future events. We have already heard league members chatting about movie nights, game nights, and Samsung Lions ballgame nights,” he said.
Rob moved to Korea in 1999 and married three years later in Daegu. He feels that it is important for his daughter to understand the concept of charity from an early age.
“Hannah has been helping with the charity also by organizing shirts, hats and equipment and helped assemble the gift bags with DSL members Eva Melican, Amy Joseph and Ariella Bar-Nissim,” he said. “I wanted her to get a grasp of charity early in life.’’
Founded in 2007, the Daegu Softball League has helped create a tight knit community among expats throughout the city. Consisting mainly of English teachers, the DSL runs from March until late June annually. During the season, teams both compete against and socialize with each other on Sunday afternoons.
By Kenneth Quillinan
Kenneth Quillinan is a visiting professor of Kyungpook National University and a member of Daegu Softball League. ― Ed.