Softball tourney nets money for campers

Spectators enjoy a day of softball action during the 8th annual First Responders Softball Tournament held Saturday in Weiser. Photo provided by Arrow-Heart
Philip A. Janquart
 The 8th annual First Responders Softball Tournament went off without a hitch on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Memorial Park in Weiser.
 Teams from Idaho and Oregon consisted of county and city law enforcement, fire protection personnel, and Arrow-Heart Campers who competed for the right to take home a custom trophy built by Ken Lukehart of Weiser.
 The trophy will be presented to the winning team in the near future once Lukehart completes finishing touches, according to Arrow-Heart Program Director and President, Steve Fenske.
 Team Idaho handed Team Oregon a 39-25 loss in the tournament.
 “They played seven innings and Idaho dominated the game right from the start,” said Fenske, who served as the night’s announcer. “Oregon tried to come back, but they were a day late and a dollar short. I think our Idaho guys even slacked back a little bit in the last inning just to see how many runs Oregon could get, but it wasn’t enough.
 “We both lacked players that didn’t show up, so we kind of filled the slots with Arrow-Heart kids. It was fun and I think the kids probably had more fun than the adults,” said Fenske, noting that Cora Loudermilk threw out the first pitch in commemoration of husband and Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Brendan Loudermilk who passed away in April of this year after a courageous battle with cancer. Brendan threw out the first pitch before the start of last year’s contest.
 Fenske said that while the number of spectators, which included Weiser Mayor Randy Hibberd, decreased from last year, the event was nonetheless a great success.
 “It was still a good crowd and, all in all, it was a good game,” he said. “Everybody enjoyed themselves. It was a good event.”
 He added that money raised has not yet been calculated.
 All proceeds benefit the Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps program activities, which are designed to develop character building and a sense of self-worth through exciting and challenging adventures for youth. The 10-month leadership program focuses on the six “C’s,” which include Character, Communication, Critical Thinking, Commitment, Courage, and Compassion.
 Arrow-Heart’s mission is to help young people garner inner strength and a positive direction in life through leadership and mentor training, and through serving others.
2023 Murder Mystery
 Arrow-Heart’s last activity of the 2023 season is the upcoming annual Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction, which Fenske said is scheduled for October, though an exact date has not yet been set.
 The themed event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit organization. Last year’s Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction, dubbed “Murder at the Deadwood Saloon,” brought in almost 200 people who teamed up at separate tables and followed along with actors who played characters involved in a murder set in the old west.
 Each table gathers clues and evidence proffered by the actors through their performances and are given a time frame in which to name a suspect.
 The table that comes up with the murderer’s correct identification receives a grab-bag that includes gift cards and other assorted goodies.
 “This event is meant to raise funds but also to bring our organization to light for people who might not be aware of what we do,” Fenske said in 2022. “It’s a fun way to donate to a worthy cause and a lot of people look forward to participating.”
 On hand last year was actor Shawn Christian who has been part of the Arrow-Heart organization from the beginning when “Days of Our Lives” daytime soap star, Arianna Zucker, and her brother Todd Zucker founded it back in 2007.
 Christian played Dr. Daniel Jonas on NBC’s Days of Our Lives and has produced and directed several independent films. More information about Arrow-Heart’s 2023 Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction will be provided as it becomes available.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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