I do this for one reason: I am the only person to have a full recovery and, for all intents and purposes, walk away from the tragic events of September 17, 2017. If I sit back and only sling soda for the rest of my days, I have wasted an opportunity at life. I feel it is my duty to do something that gives back, and most importantly, honors a certain special guardian angel, Ms. 'Ryno' Ryan Grace. For those who didn't get the opportunity to meet her, it's your loss. She was the coolest and most full of life 3 year old. Now, and most importantly, she's a hero to me and her organ recipients.
I cannot do this without the help, assistance, advice, guidance, and everything in between I have received from some of the coaches, my volunteers, and most importantly, my now WIFE Heather Hampel. Thank you for putting up with me thru this process and for going down this journey with me for another year.
Now the guts of the tournament: putting together a tournament is expensive. I try my best to keep the expenses down, but at the end of the day, it all adds up. Event insurance is nothing to ignore (a big THANK YOU to Christ Hotchkiss for his help and donation in this area,) and umpires for roughly 50 games can run a couple thousand dollars.
Last year we donated just over $9,000, which, while incredible, had a couple factors that played to our benefit. I did not have to pay for Platte Purchase last year, which was a huge savings. Also, for those that don’t know, a very nice older gentlemen last year purchased a 50/50 raffle ticket and asked Ms. Kathy Cain-Espeland to put Ryan’s name on the ticket. As luck would have it, we were able to add $825 into the pot when we drew her first!
This year, the fields cost $1,600 and Ryan did not win the 50/50, making this year’s donation start at least $2,400 less. Couple those factors with a food truck who bailed on us early Saturday (and didn’t ever show back up Sunday as was promised) and the less than favorable weather Sunday morning slowed everything down.
With all that being said, I am very pleased to say this year’s total donation is going to be well OVER TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!! I can’t believe it! It’s an incredible accomplishment, and something I never envisioned possible when I started planning these events.
To all my volunteers, THANK YOU!! Keeping the entire front end of all this together without my worry helped me tremendously. To all my runners who had to get coolers, ice, and Gatorade and water to sell when the food truck fiasco occurred, you were a lifesaver! Also, my emergency grounds crew who assisted in getting the fields dry Sunday was an absolute game changer. THANK YOU!
A sneak peak into next year: I am currently in conversation with a facility already to host our event. Yes, it will be moving again, but hopefully to a permanent home that is much larger and gives us the ability to host every age group! Ideally we would double the number of teams!
Please continue to follow this page as we continue to build on our successes, work on our faults, and adjust this annual event!!
Make sure to stop by KC Cajun!!!! Their food is SOOOOO good!!!
And Kona is here as well! Send them some love!
We are off and running with a 2 hour delay!! No sprinkles are gonna keep us from baseball! Our 10:30 games (originally scheduled for 8:30) are rolling along!!
11u will NOT have a delay!!! They had a late start initially and we will keep them on schedule!!!!
A fantastic turnout today! I tried to turn the thermostat down, but to no avail. I’m currently on hold with Mother Nature; hopefully she takes my call before tomorrow.
Can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow!
O, and the 50/50 raffle: OVER $1,700 AS OF THIS EVENING! Get your tickets tomorrow!
This year’s event will be held Sat and Sun, August 10-11. It will be at Pleasant Valley Road Athletic Complex in the KC Northland. All proceeds will go to Midwest Transplant Network again this year. Ryan Grace was an organ donor, and bringing awareness to such a cause is the most important piece of the weekend.
-50/50 and prize raffle will be on site (and you can purchase tickets now for it) All credit cards accepted thru Square!
-T-shirts and racerbacks are available to purchase
-Food truck and snow cones on site both days
-Cowtown Mini Donuts available on Sunday!
-Midwest Transplant will be on site
-Admission is $5, under 8 is free
-Games start at 8:30 both days
Thank you for being a part of a wonderful event and bringing awareness to a great organization!! 💚
The calm before excitement! Keys in hand and ready to go! Please stop me and say hello as I run by this weekend! It means so much to ME (Matt) personally for everyone to commit their time, energy, and resources to all of this. Without all of you, none of this is possible. 💜💚💜💚
Get your raffle tickets for all the great prizes, including half the total pot! T-shirts and racerbacks will be on site to order!
Proceeds from ALL of these different pieces go to Midwest Transplant Network, who will be on site during the day Saturday!
"We hope you'll attend The Ryan Grace Memorial Baseball Tournament this weekend. Last year, Ryan's family graciously donated all proceeds to Midwest Transplant Network. Ryan Grace, was an organ donor after a tragic car accident on September 17th, 2017. Matt Hampel, Ryan's daddy, says the goal is simple... raise awareness about organ donation while also having a great event for kids. #GiveHopeShareLife "
Thank you all SO much for sharing our event! All proceeds are once again going to Midwest Transplant Network! We will have a food truck, snow cones, and Cowtown Mini Donuts (Sunday) on site. We’ll also have a 50/50 raffle but also with a signed Travis Kelce Jersey, Royals tix, tons of gift cards, and much more you can win! And T-shirts! We have a new design and style this year! See you this weekend!
ROUND 2 OF RYAN SHIRT ORDERS!!!!!
This order will be placed after this weekends tournament. If you didn't get in on the first order this is your chance. These will be on sale at the tournament as well. We will not order until we've received payment from you via Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org), Venmo (@ryangracememorial), or CC thru Square.
If I have not spoke to you about your team registration OR you have not paid it as of this morning, please send me a PM/text and let me know your plan to get that completed. Once I have a final team count, I can make a schedule for Saturday and get umpires scheduled as well.
Credit card: I’ll run thru Square
The Mobile Doc RV from Liberty Urgent Care will be on site both Saturday and Sunday for any/all medical needs. Their entire staff took wonderful care of me during my transitions before and after my shoulder procedures. Thank you all so much for coming to support this event!! 💜
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.