| Jul 20, 2006

Feature Article - July 20, 2006

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Feature Article - July 20, 2006

"TheGum Man and theGrasshoppers"

by Meghan Balogh

The baseball diamond in Sharbot Lake was alive with Grasshoppers this past weekend. Three Grasshopper-division teams of the North Frontenac Minor Softball Association (NFMSA) gathered for a series of five games two on Friday night and three on Saturday. Two of the teams came from Parham and one from Sharbot Lake .

The four- to seven-year-olds sported their colourful “Timbits” uniforms with great enthusiasm as they played under a hot July sun. Those uniforms were a special gift to the team this year thanks to the hard work and dedication of Jim Webster from Sharbot Lake (called “The Gum Man” by the kids).


Over the course of the past year, Jim raised over $7,000 for the Minor Softball Association teams through 50/50 draws and donations from local businesses. Arnold’s Auto Wreckers, Gray’s Grocery, Lewis Construction, Middleton Trucking, Ram’s Esso, Sharbot Lake Petro-Canada, Timbr-Mart; Cota Steel Sr., Patty Middleton of Sharbot Lake Enterprises, Joe Climie, and Tim Horton’s in Perth, all gave financial support.

Among the larger donations the Parham/Sharbot Lake ball team donated $642, and Tim Horton’s in Perth donated $4000. Through Jim’s fundraising, NFMSA was able to purchase 144 new uniforms for the kids in all four divisions: Grasshoppers, Mites, Squirts, and Bantam.

Willy and Edith St. Pierre cannot fail to be mentioned. Willy is the president of the North Frontenac Minor Softball Association, and he and Edith play key roles in the management and guidance of this group of young sportspeople, handling registration and setting up game schedules for all the teams.

After the final game on Saturday the kids headed over to the Legion Hall in Sharbot Lake , where Jim Webster had organized a celebration for the young folks. Volunteers fed the children hamburgers and hot dogs, Timbits donated by Tim Horton’s in Perth , and strawberries provided by Jim. Mary-Lou and Bruce Campbell brought karaoke for the kids.

The hard work and dedication of caring businesses and individuals have ensured that 2006 will be a successful year for all six teams of NFMSA. And as long as the Gum Man sticks around to share goodies with them, I’m sure the kids will agree that Grasshopper baseball is great summer fun.

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