As an aspiring Development Director I have shadowed and worked with some incredibly gifted fundraisers. One of the biggest lessons I have learned from them is the question of why. The question of your why is as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Why do you do what you do? This question fuels the donor and receiver and sets the foundation for developing any organization.
If you would have told me that as a 21 year old one of my most emotionally charged “why’s” would be Leroy wiffleball I would have laughed in your face. But as I write this article I am again reminded of the power of unity and togetherness. Leroy wiffleball is at its most simplest form a once a week hangout for men ages 16-26 where you play a backyard sport you grew up with. At its most complex it is a place that embraces and engages community by maximizing a ranging set of talents and aspirations. Over the 4 years I have been in the league I have seen it grow into something Tim, Kyle, Jared, Neil, and myself could have never imagined. To have so many differing personalities coming together and genuinely enjoying each other company over a game of wiffleball is awesome. As a person who gets super passionate about relationship building you could say this type of social interaction is up my alley. The game in its essence is so simple. But its that simplicity that allows people to meet each other where they are at.
For anyone that reads this article and asks why should I devote every Wednesday night to a wiffleball league in the middle of nowhere, I pose an answer. You become part of something much bigger than yourself. As I have seen many other leagues at nationals and viewing social media pages I’ve realized we are very unique. Many leagues rightly so are winning and performance oriented. Which we have in Leroy as well. but the distinction we make is that we are family oriented first. You become part of our league and you become part of a group of guys that genuinely loves being together. It also is a place where you can be at your best. One of my favorite stories from 2016 was Greg Gierling. When it came to wiffleball performance he wasn’t the best. But off the diamond he has become one of the most valued and respected members of our league. Its this diversity from member to member that gives Leroy such a rich culture and feel.
As I sit and reflect on the last 4 years I’ve come to the realization that there aren’t many experiences I would trade to be in this league. It has taught me so many lessons on humility, brotherhood, and looking deeper. But its also been the highlight of my summer for the past 4 years. This was a really long way to say the reason I love Leroy wiffleball is because every time I play I am constantly rewarded with an awesome answer to my why.