By Jenna Kopec, photos courtesy of www.derykdavidsonphotography.com
On January 21, the Jason Taylor Foundation introduced the inaugural Wizard Creation’s Whiffle Blast presented by Sports Chiropractic and Natural Health Solutions, a charity-driven family event that aimed to raise funds for children battling cancer and pediatric medical emergencies.
With an interactive KidZone, live stage performances, food trucks, a home run derby and, of course, a whiffle ball tournament featuring nearly thirty teams, Pine Trails Park in Parkland became the home base for a day designed to make a difference.
The event was made possible by Dr. Todd Rodman, owner and physician at Sports Chiropractic and Natural Health Solutions, who came up with the concept, as well as Luke Freeman, president and founder of Wizard Creations. They worked closely with Sean Todd, director of operations at the Jason Taylor Foundation, to recruit participants, plan events and execute the event. All participants contributed to the cause.
“We put on Whiffle Blast because the Jason Taylor Foundation and SIDES [where a portion of funds raised are being allocated] are two amazing organizations that do such good for our community,” said Freeman “We wanted to help give back to our community and to two organizations that do so much for so many others.”
Seth Levit, executive director of the Jason Taylor Foundation, said he was blown away by the reception the tournament had.
“Todd [Rodman] had a vision and it really came to life,” said Levit.
Despite some natural competitive natures, teams seemed to enjoy learning the game.
“I had never played whiffle ball before, so just watching the different levels of different people was really cool,” confirmed Corbin Stacy, Lulu Lemon ambassador and Whiffle Blast player.
The Whiffle Blast KidZone was filled with interactive inflatables and activities such as Kid’s CrossFit and yoga. Nearby, the main stage, presented by the Dance Theatre Company, featured a DJ, vocal performances, a fashion show and a dance recital featuring incredibly talented youth from the stage partner. Rodman said that having children engaged in the event was particularly important to him so that they can see the impact they can have on other people.
“We’re out here to have fun but there are a lot of kids [out in the world] that aren’t having fun,” said Rodman
“I hope the kids walk away having a great day, learning
a little bit about whiffle ball. And I’m just hoping that we can really start something that we can build on for years to come.”
Volunteers, an integral part of Whiffle Blast, also took part in the excitement.
“I’m pretty sure if they have it again, the entire team is going to come,” said Kiki O’Hara, a freshman volunteering with the rest of St. Thomas University’s softball team.
Overall, Whiffle Blast met the goals set by Rodman, Freeman and the Jason Taylor Foundation. There was fun, there was unity and there was help for the community.
“I hope [everyone] had a good time and I hope they know that what they did meant something,” said Levit.
“A lot of young people will be helped because of what they did.”
For more info about Whiffle Blast, please visit the event page on the JTF website at: