Posted by: Marty Fahncke | May 19, 2008

Baseball isn’t for everyone

The crack of the bat!

The roar of the crowd!

Close your eyes, and these two sounds will instantly take you to a baseball game deep in your memory.  It might be a professional game with your favorite team beating their league rivals, or it might be a little league game when you or your kid hit the winning run. 

The sounds of baseball are very powerful.  What would a game be without “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” or someone yelling “Peanuts!  Cracker Jacks!” as they walk up and down the rows?

Little League painting
(Painting “Little League” by Greg Fetler)

For young boys, playing little league has been a right of passage for almost a century. 

Unless you are Deaf. 

You see, all those famous baseball sounds don’t mean a thing to those who can’t hear.  Yet somehow, even Deaf kids love to play and watch baseball. 

That’s how it is for my little guy.  Noah is an active, energetic and talented kid.  He’s very interested in sports…but sports hasn’t been too interested in him.

We’ve tried for years to integrate him into “normal kid” sports.  Soccer, hockey, skating, baseball, etc.  The road has not been a smooth one.  Even though Noah is a quick study, who can mimic any move or action you demonstrate for him, otherwise adult coaches seem to have a problem dealing with a kid they can’t verbally talk to.  We’ve had coaches and instructors actually REFUSE to allow him to participate in various sports because he can’t hear.

The feelings of rejection (his) and anger (mine) are more than I can describe.  If you are a parent, you know the pain you feel when your child feels lonely and rejected. 

That is why we were SO excited after we moved to Kansas, to find out about the Fantasy Baseball Camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids put on by Sertoma (SERvice TO MANkind) of Johnson County. 

Noah attended the camp last year, and he loved it!  It was a way for him to participate in sports without being made to feel out of place and awkward. 

For a couple of warm summer days, he is surrounded by peers and mentors who provide a safe and fun learning environment in his own language of American Sign Language (ASL)

The camp last year was so good for Noah and the dozens of other Deaf kids who participated, I wanted to do whatever I could to make it bigger, better, and available to every Deaf kid we can reach.   So I joined Sertoma, and offered to help with this years’ camp.

This year, the camp has grown to add Lacrosse instruction as well as baseball, so we’ve changed the name to Fantasy Sports Camp.  The camp takes place June 4-6, and already we’re seeing a HUGE number of registrations from Deaf kids eager to participate.

Now, the point of this long post. 

I need your help. 

Putting on a camp like this isn’t cheap.  We supply equipment, snacks, lunches, certified ASL interpreters, and many other things that cost a lot of money.  We want the kids to have a great time, so we take no shortcuts.  All of the staff (including me) are volunteers, so every dollar raised goes to the program for the kids. 

In addition to the Fantasy Sports Camp, Johnson County Sertoma provides other services to the Deaf community, including a loaner hearing aid program, and much more.

Please, would you take a moment to donate $20, $200, or even $2,000 to this great cause?  Sertoma is a 501c(3) non-profit, so any donation you make is tax deductible. 

I would like to raise $7,500 by May 31st, and with your help, I KNOW we can do it.

Please CLICK HERE to make your donation
(Donations can be done online via credit card, or you can send a check)

If you would like to learn more about Sertoma, or the Fantasy Sports Camp, please click here:

THANK YOU again for your time, and for your generous donation. 

PS – I know times are tight, so please consider a donation of ANY amount by clicking here

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Responses

  1. Marty – what an awesome cause! This sounds really cool. I’ll be making a donation. If there’s anything else I can do to help out – let me know!

  2. […] On that note, my friend/colleague Marty is raising money for a Fantasy Sports Camp for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids. […]

  3. @Scott Randolph – Thank you so much for your support! A donation AND a posting on your blog. Wow, both are great ways to help, and I appreciate it!

  4. Hey Marty my long time friend, I love your passion for raising money for this Sports Camp. I feel honored to help out by giving a donation.

  5. @David Ginther – Thanks for your support!

    I’m also still looking for a replacement computer for you.

    Anyone have a laptop computer they aren’t using that you could donate to a great youth pastor in Montana? Doesn’t have to be fancy or new, but needs to work good. Contact Marty if you have any ideas.

  6. […] great big thank you! The last day of Fantasy Sports Camp was today, and all of the kids had a great time this […]

  7. Thanks Marty for bringing this great opportunity to our awareness through Twitter. We’ll help out with more promotion and donation.

    Terry & Florence

  8. […] Click here to learn more, and how you can donate. […]


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