As I stated in all the medals presentations this year, everyone knows the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’ This year, WE made $27,268 worth of lemonade in honor of Ms. Ryan Grace! INCREDIBLE!!
(Full disclosure: we are giving Midwest Transplant Network $350 in additional funds made out to them directly from the event. Those totals are not included.) Also, a part of the total amount comes from a very generous donation given to us by one of Ryan’s organ recipients!!
I am immeasurably humbled by everyone’s generosity. Whether you’ve given time, resources, or finances, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and contribution.
How did we get here?! From 26 teams in 2019, to SIXTY SEVEN this year 🤯😬😁😍 our donation has increased from $10k last year to this unbelievable amount!
I’ve always been transparent about the business; this year is no different. The bigger the event, the bigger costs; roughly $18,500 in expenses were paid out this year in total. However, each year we learn a little bit more about where/how to allocate resources. I’m fortunate to work with amazing vendors, starting with Capitol Federal Sports Complex and my umpiring crew. While they are certainly my 2 most expensive costs, they make it all possible. The move to Cap. Fed. gave us the ability to even HAVE an event this year. The rain on Sunday would have most definitely cancelled any plans on grass/dirt. KC Bleacher Mom was tremendous in the handling of shirts (221 sold this year!!) Kona Ice, Cowtown Mini Donuts, and our newcomers, KC Ice Shack and Silver Linings KC, were also fantastic in assisting towards our donation as well by giving a portion of their sales to our total.
Where do we go?? NOWHERE but UP!! We wash, rinse, and repeat. As I’ve said, you don’t simply survive, you THRIVE. While I’m not sure we’ll look to get bigger, we’re certainly going to work on getting better. I asked for and received critiques and suggestions from both coaches and volunteers to ensure we put together as good a product as any other event you’ll go to...with one difference. The Ryan Grace Memorial Tournament is a celebration and a reminder. This event has a WHY, it has a PURPOSE, it has a CAUSE, and it honors a hero and shows you that if one little 3 year old girl can give hope to so many people, why can’t you as well?? 💚💜
The amount of patience and understanding you all displayed towards me over the entire tournament weekend cannot and will not ever be taken for granted or understated. I appreciate all of you hanging in there through 3 weather delays and all the adjustments made to the schedule. While Mother Nature tried her damndest to literally rain on our parade, our ability and decision to have the event on turf was the ultimate save from the bullpen.
Second, thank you to everyone who made this event happen. To all the returning teams, being able to pencil you in each and every year makes planning a whole lot easier. To the first time teams competing this year (and there are a lot of you) I cannot thank you enough for believing in our event and the cause. My hope is you all become a returning team year after year.
To my volunteers: I always say at the medals presentation I cannot have a tournament if I don’t have teams. I’ll also add, I cannot raise the amount of money we have without all of you and the countless hours put in to the event. I am forever indebted to you all for your kindness and generosity of your time.
From a personal side: seeing all the phone calls, text messages, emails, and sleepless nights come together like it did gave me a feeling I’ll never be able to describe. More than anything I would love to share the moments with a certain little girl, but celebrating her life with you all is something I’m forever grateful for.
To all my sponsors and vendors who contributed and donated, THANK YOU. Your generosity and contribution in a year filled with so much uncertainty and uneasiness for businesses is amazing.
Lastly, to my wife, Heather: Off and on for 6 months (if not more) my mind is focused on this event. And, in her words, for 3 weeks in July, I block everything/everyone out with one purpose: a perfect event for a perfect little angel. Your patience, understanding, and eagerness to assist is unmatched to anyone I’ve ever been around. You loved Ryno like your own, which will always keep my heart full. I love you, and thank you!
Stay tuned for a total donation amount, as well as details on the presentation of funds!!
O, and ABSOLUTELY we’re doing it again next year!! I have every intention of watching the 7u kids (Ryan’s age group of kids) complete the run of divisions these next 8 years!! 💜💚❤️
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.