'Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others'. Simply put, this is the legacy that Bobby Vargo left behind for his family, friends and the community he cared for.
Bobby was always involved in making a difference anywhere he could and his family and friends always took center stage. His parents Glen and Lynn Vargo, siblings Ashley (Caouette) and Austin; and wife KaAnn succeeded in keeping Bobby's memory alive with this annual event. This year, Bobby's wife KaAnn and their children, Hudson and Emmersyn, along with KaAnn's mother Judy Silvey, travelled to Kipling from Boise City, Oklahoma to cheer on the teams and share memories with the 54 attending family members, community members and good friends.
“It was important to him to stop and give people his time, he wanted to know them. He was just that kind of kid,” Glen and Lynn reflect on their son. “He loved to talk and Emmersyn is just the same!'' A personality like Bobby's attracted life-long friends in his community and the out-pour of people at this tournament proved it. This annual event has not only been proven successful at fundraising but has been the basis for getting people back home to Kipling, often an annual reunion of their own.
The 5th Annual Bobby Vargo Memorial Slo-Pitch Tournament welcomed 200 slo-pitch enthusiasts from 20 teams, near and far, to the Kipling ball diamonds over the Canada Day weekend, including a team of friends from his graduating class. “I can't stress enough how much we appreciate the teams that come out, they are all so respectful,” Glen shares his views on the ball players who helped to raise funds for future ball diamond improvements. “We don't raise the money, the teams that come out to play raise that money! The community raises the money!” This year, the money raised during the weekend event through the services of the food booth, beer gardens, entry fees and the Home Run Derby Calcutta will be donated to The Kipling & District Lions Club, Kipling Kidcare and much needed repair and improvements to the Kipling Ball Diamonds.
Both Canadian and American flags were represented at the ball diamonds to acknowledge both homes to Bobby and his family. The Bobby Vargo Tournament logo was creatively brought to life by local father/son team Garth and Clayton Kertai and was often the highlight of photographs for the teams.
“Ashley took care of planning the kid stuff,” Lynn says proudly. “It's all about family.” Children visiting the ball diamonds over the weekend had a variety of entertainment including 'Chase' from Paw Patrol on Friday evening, June 30th. The playground area kept the kids busy with bouncy houses, a treasure dig, dunk tank, petting zoo, balloon art and face painting on Saturday, July 1st. “The kids were going crazy, they loved it.”
On Friday, June 30th, the Home Run Derby 2017 had 22 entrants. Tyler Vargo, bought in the Calcutta by Sproat Farms, took home 1st place for the fourth year in a row. The 2nd place was awarded to Mike Meszaros, bought in by Zepick Farms. Patty Eashappi, bought in by Jeremy Soloshy, stood in 3rd in the event finale. The Calcutta of 10 players brought in a total of $9050.00 toward the total fundraiser. (Total money raised will be announced in next week's Citizen.)
The Bobby Memorial Cup winners for 2017 were 'Teabagger Athletics' and their runners up were 'Flipping Bats'.
A-Side Consolation winners were 'Pitches Be Crazy', runners up were 'DOA'. B-Side winners were 'Foul Bowels', runners up 'Deez Buntz'.
B-Side Consolation winners were 'Krauts', runners up were 'Indus 2 Windus'. C-Side winners were 'Designated Drinkers', runners up were 'Hazel County 650's'.
C-Side Consolation winners were 'Rusty Beavers', runners up were 'Here 4 Beer'. D-Side winners were 'Kookshow Kids', runners up were 'Sons Of Pitches'.
D-Side Consolation winners were 'Blue Ballers', runners up were 'Brew Jays'.
E-Side winners were 'Grad Of 02', runners up were 'Love Gloves'.
E-Side Consolation winners were 'Odd Balls', runners up were 'V Team'.
“None of this could have been possible without the numerous sponsors. We could not have done it otherwise.” Lynn states. “The volunteers, the food booth, the beer gardens, the people that just showed up to help. We couldn't have done it without them.” The sponsors and volunteers were endless and help was always readily available. There was a big reason Bobby loved the Kipling community so much and why the community gathers to celebrate his life and continue his passion to help others.