Forsythe Snowball Kickball Continues to Inspire Local Communities




Snowball Kickball hosts

Vince & Carrie Forsythe

 

12 Annual Event Sets Record

- Raises $43,000

Now in its 12th year fundraising campaign, the Forsythe Snowball Kickball event is a story in itself. The event manifested itself some twelve years ago with the one simple concept or goal in mind, to pay it forward. For Vince and Carrie Forsythe the then “get together” would be a show of appreciation for the love and support they received as they faced their own hospital and medical adversities with their own children years ago. The Forsythe’s Annual Kickball Fundraiser is a reminder of the hardships they faced and that people can and do make a difference. Twelve years later the Snowball Kickball event continues to avalanche and be a catalyst of hope and inspiration for its recipients and those in attendance.

Anyone who has attended the Snowball Kickball event over the last twelve years can tell you it is a heart-touching event. Witnessing such an event can give you an understanding of the why and how the event has grown from a $300 first-year fundraising effort to a record $43,000 campaign.

Over the last five years alone Forsythe’s and company have raised around $163,000, an average of $32,600 per year, a remarkable feat for a one-day event which is held at their home. The first five years netted $18,000 an average of $3,600 a year. This year’s event topped the $43,000 mark with $19,000 generated from the live auction thanks to the generous help of Jack Buzard as auctioneer. The day also features a $1,000 giveaway, a walleye charter trip, half a hog raffle, gun raffle, and quilt raffle as well as some very generous donated items for the live auction.

Examples of paying it forward resound this year and every year. At the 9th annual event, a five-year-old was the catalyst. Five-year-old Cadence wanted to make a difference and got the 9th annual effort underway by donating what she had saved in her piggy bank - $5.38, a memory she will certainly carry forward to her own family one day. Her inspiring act rhetorically asked the question, how can I get involved? The act of kindness was contagious as others reached out to help that year and every year since, fittingly a snowballing effect.

For one couple Paul and Shari Shovestull, the Forsythe Snowball Kickball fundraiser was the place of their first date in 2020. The following year they were married. As life can change on a dime, Shari was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma in her liver and lungs after about with Covid in the fall of 2021. In December, Shari was life-flighted to Hamot to remove eight blood clots in her lungs. Shari passed in January of 2022 just prior to this year’s event. Her husband Paul, who took Shari on their first date to Snowball Kickball only two years earlier, accepted a check in her memory for $16,200.

Jess Cyphert who has had severe health issues since May of 2021 also was given $16,200 which will help her and her family in many ways. The Forsythe’s also donate a part of the proceeds every year to the Clarion County Shriners.

With the onset of COVID, the past few years have taught us all that time is a precious commodity.

The Wise family has faithfully attended the Snowball Kickball event for the last several years. In fact, in the last two years, Fred Wise has won the Piper’s Point Bird Package Hunt. Unfortunately, Fred passed away in 2021.­­ His family vowed to bid on the hunt again this year for his son’s. The bid on the bird hunt finished at $3900 this year after a see-saw bid on the price. After the bidding had commenced Vince called the family forward as he talked about the hunt. “I just want you to know that the company I work for gave me $5,000 to make sure your sons get to go on this bird hunt. This bird hunt is for you and your family in memory of Fred.”

Forsythe also spoke highly and in appreciation of Jim Snyder of JSE Sports Gallery for his generous donations over the years. “Jim passed away suddenly in June of 2021 and was such an instrumental part in the success of this event over the years and he will be greatly missed for his friendship and his commitment to helping others. Jim’s initial sports memorabilia donations were the springboard and start of the live auction. Jim’s donations were a big part of how we raise money for others”, stated Forsythe.

“We have experienced what some of these families are currently going through and we have always said, someday we will pay it forward, it is our time to give back”, stated Carrie Forsythe. “We are truly blessed by our family and friends and the surrounding communities that generously donated to this cause. We live in such an amazing area. The kindness and generosity have been overwhelming, when you get that kind of support, you know you are doing something good”.

The Forsythe Snowball Kickball campaign embraces all of what is good in our society and surrounding communities. Let us all be thankful that the Forsythe’s decided to get that snowball rolling years ago with one simple act of kindness, a kindness that has shown to be contagious even over twelve years.

Keep that snowball rolling!


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