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Softball tournament raises money for local Special Olympics team
spt CP Special Olympics Storm
Members of the Storm Special Olympics team gather between softball games during the July tournament that raised money on their behalf. Eighteen members of the Storm competed in the softball tournament, while others were in attendance for support. They are joined in the photo by coaches and volunteers who helped to put the tournament on this year. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Storm Special Olympics Softball Tournament boasted 11 teams competing on July 14-15 at Veterans Memorial Park.
Included among the field of competitors was the Storm, the area’s Special Olympics team. Tourney proceeds help to cover costs for Storm athletes when they compete in Special Olympics events around the state, said tournament organizer Patty Halseth.
“Money goes toward paying for hotel rooms and meals when they compete, and it covers gas for the bus,” explained Halseth, who has organized the fund-raising tournament four straight years.
Several local businesses sponsored the competition, and about a dozen volunteers helped work the tournament. Approximately $3,500 was netted from this year’s tournament, Halseth reported.
Eighteen Storm team members split time, competing in six games on the tournament’s first day. They went 5-1 in the tournament.
The round-robin shifted to a single-elimination tournament with seven teams advancing to the final day of play. In the end, D.T.A. defeated Chism to claim the title. Besides Barton County, other communities represented in the tournament were Salina, McPherson, Pratt and Medicine Lodge.
“The Storm players had a blast playing on Saturday,” said Halseth. “After playing six games in one day, they were exhausted, but they had fun.”
The Storm participates in basketball during the winter, culminating with the state tournament in late winter. Storm athletes also compete in track and field, ending the season with the Special Olympics state meet in late spring.