The 2020 Virtual Play for the Cure Game

Story by Carli LoPresto, Staff Writer

Thursday, May 14th, TheDay.com hosted the virtual Play for the Cure softball game. This game took place in 2017 when Waterford’s star pitcher and past cancer patient Marissa Walker was on the team.

The virtual game started off with a Zoom meeting including, The Day’s Casey O’Neill, Stonington softball’s head coach Ann-Marie Houle, The Day’s Vickie Fulkerson, past player Theresa Kane, Elizabeth Sutman and Waterford softball’s head coach Andy Walker. They talked about the game, how the Play for the Cure game got started, and Liz and Andy’s niece Marissa who had cancer at the age of 9.

Alumni Theresa Kane explained how Stonington and Waterford, two rival teams, are able to come together for a day and play for kids and bring awareness to young kids who can’t play sports because of cancer. Andy Walker told his team, “We are playing for those that are unable to play.”

After the first inning, and the unfortunate triple play with the score tied at 3-3, there was another Zoom meeting, this time Waterford players Madison Nott, Rachel Miller and Gina Mckittrick joined. They all reminisced about how fun the Play for the Cure game was and what it meant to mean to them. The girls said they came to the game with a different mindset telling themselves that game means more than winning.

After the 2nd inning with Waterford winning 5-3 this time the Zoom meeting included Stonington players Sarah Flakus. Shea O’Connor, Maggie Constantine, and Tori LoPresto. They all stated the favorite part of their game which ranged from the ceremony to decorating, reading all of the cards for the cancer patients, the days leading up to the game, and eating food with all players after the game.

After the 3rd inning with the score still at 5-3, Marissa and Kazi Walker joined in. Marissa talked about her time at Camp Rising Sun and how she met some of her best friends there because she felt normal and she could fit in with all the other kids dealing with cancer. Marissa also talked about how she got surgery in January but then got ready for the upcoming softball season a few months after.

After the 4th inning with the Bears finally up 6-5, this Zoom meeting was an alumni meeting with Colette and Cameron Dreher, Abby Flakus, and Miranda Arruda. They all shared their favorite memories of the game. Cameron loved how regardless of who won or lost they would all go eat with Waterford and just come together as one because they knew that they were playing for something way bigger. They all shared what they are studying in college and Cameron and Colette shared what the game meant to their mom who was diagnosed with cancer when they were young teens.

The last Zoom meeting occurred after the 5th inning with the score at Waterford winning 8-6, with the some of the Waterford players, Cassidy Susi, Ashley Goldstein, Emily Borysewicz, Liliana Stoddard, and Ciana Chiappone. They all talked about their thought process on the bus on the way to the game. They always had the game in the back of their head and they were thinking about the importance of the game and how thankful they were to even be able to play.

Even though Stonington lost 13-7, they still played for all the loved ones that passed away due to cancer and all the children who aren’t able to play sports from cancer. So far $1350 has been raised for the $2000 goal and you can go donate at givebutter.com/playforthecure.