Pineville High School’s Lady Rebel Softball field was the scene of family fun and softball action as NFL Star Cody Ford’s Team Ford squared off against Duffel of Dreams Founder, Danielle Poteet’s, Team Poteet in the first annual Duffel of Dreams Celebrity Softball Game, Saturday, June 25.
The fun family event has a serious purpose. All too often in our community, children have to be removed from their homes and placed into foster care, many times in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
That’s where Duffel of Dreams steps in to help.
The organization, a 501c-3 non-profit, gives children placed in to foster care in the CENLA parishes a suitcase filled with personal care items, clothes, and items such as a stuffed animal and blanket that give the children a reminder that there are people who care about them.
In the words of Duffel of Dreams founder and CEO, Danielle Poteet, a 2016 Pineville alumna, “The suitcases are a dove sending hope to God’s children in foster care.”
The event also featured a home run derby, handily won by Holy Savior Menard standout and Tennessee Titan John Leglue whose nearly 20 home runs proved he still remembers his days playing baseball at Menard.
The Pineville High School Rebel Club presented Ms. Pooteet a $500.00 check. Raising Canes donated $1,500.00 in addition to providing a prize package and keeping both dugouts supplied with delicious sweet tea and lemonade.
The game was a true celebrity match up featuring several NFL players, current high school standouts from Buckeye, Holy Savior Menard and Pineville high school, members of the media and community leaders.
In addition to Cincinnati Bengal Cody Ford, a 2015 Pineville High School alumni, the game featured Tennessee Titan John Leglue, a 2014 product of Holy Savior Menard, D. J. Chark an ASH and LSU alumni and 6 year veteran of the Carolina Panthers as well as Baltimore Raven Adrian Early.
The NFL Players’ Association has graciously agreed to match every dollar raised, further assisting Duffel of Dreams in helping children in difficult situations not of their making.
In addition to the football prowess on display, Menard’s Emily Deselle and Buckeye’s Olivia Henry brought their considerable softball skills to their teammates’ aid, often outhitting their fellow athletes from the NFL, as did Menard football standout Carson Harrison.
Rapides Sheriff Mark Wood brought the heat as the pitcher for Team Poteet.
The Rapides Sheriff’s department cooked a savory batch of jambalaya for the hungry players and spectators. Pineville City Marshal Murphy Rachal and a deputy provided security.
The athletes and celebrities graciously stayed after the game was over to sign autographs at no charge.
The Journal Services Group is donating the event photography. If you do see a photograph you like, you may download it at no cost. We do ask that you consider a donation to Duffel of Dreams in lieu of payment.