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SHERIFF’S EMPLOYEES STEP UP TO THE PLATE FOR SICK CHILDREN

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Saturday, August 21, 2010— More than 100 Cook County Sheriff’s employees will be playing in a charity softball tournament this weekend to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

The 8th annual “Batter Up” tournament will take place beginning at 9 a.m.  Sunday, August 22nd in Bambrick Park located at 1330 Smith Road in Lemont. 

Ten different teams, each formed by different units from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, will be competing against each other in a double elimination tournament designed to increase camaraderie and raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The tournament began eight years ago as an expansion of an already annual softball game between members of the Gang and Vice Units.  When Officer Jim Pacetti transferred from the Gang Unit to the K-9 Unit, he was disappointed to realize that meant he would no longer be participating in the softball event.   Undeterred, Pacetti worked with other officers and the idea of expanding the event into a multiple-team, charity tournament was born. 

The event has continued to grow and this year includes ten teams comprised of anywhere from 12-20 members.  The tournament is expected to last all day and into the evening as the teams battle for bragging rights.  This year the returning champion K-9 Unit is looking to defend their title.  In addition to the softball there is a raffle, food, a DJ and a variety of entertainment for participants’ families and children.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.  Though fundraising isn’t done for a specific child, the sheriff’s office requests that the money they raise be used to help a local child if possible.  To date the event has raised more than $50,000 for the foundation. 

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