By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
The family of a 4-year-old Cleveland boy who died in December 2017 after a treehouse fell on him at a relative’s home in Splendora is continuing to turn their tragedy into a blessing for the community.
On Sept. 6-7, Kade Contreras’ family will host the Second Annual Play for Kade Softball Tournament at Cleveland Municipal Park. All money raised from the tournament, expanded this year to include children’s kickball and cornhole competitions, will be returned to the community through sponsorship of teams and players who otherwise would not be able to participate in sports.
Since 2018, the Play for Kade organization has sponsored 40 children in baseball, softball, basketball, football and cheerleading from Cleveland, Tarkington, Liberty and surrounding communities.
“After Kade died, we asked for donations in lieu of flowers, and we received thousands of dollars right off the bat. We rolled into baseball season in February 2018 and started sponsoring kids,” said Kade’s mom, Courtney Contreras. “Then we started thinking of fundraisers, so we came up with the Play for Kade T-shirt campaign. We raised more money from that and began planning for the first softball tournament.”
Courtney explained that with four older brothers, much of Kade’s young life revolved around baseball and football fields, or basketball courts. Though Kade had only played in pee wee baseball leagues for two years at the time of this death, he loved the sport.
“We wanted to do something he would have loved, so we decided on the softball tournament,” she said.
So far, 12 teams are signed up but Courtney is hoping to have at least 20 teams by the time the tournament starts. The first games kick off on Friday, Sept. 6, and roll into Saturday, Sept. 7.
The fee is $200 for a team of 10-12 players with three ladies minimum per team. Teams must wear the same color of T-shirt on game days. The softball tournament is double elimination and prizes will be awarded to winners in first through third place.
The kickball tournament is for children ages 5-15, and the fee is $10 per player. Each player will receive a T-shirt. Teams will be divided into age groups and brackets, depending on the number of players who sign up to play.
The double-elimination cornhole tournament is $20 for a two-person team.
Throughout the event, a silent auction will take place with items posted on Facebook for bidding. Auction items are needed.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, a Donate for Life booth will be set up in the park. Courtney explained that she and her husband, Roy, donated their son’s organs after his death. As a result, their tragedy saved five other lives – two adults and three children.
“I am actually going to meet the lady who received Kade’s live. I am super excited. We connected on Facebook last November. She is from Houston. We started talking and built a good relationship,” Courtney said. “She has six kids and is bringing out the whole family to the tournament.”
For more information on the tournaments, or to donate auction items, contact Bethany Porter at 832-401-6060 or send an email to email@example.com.