Wadsworth Community Radio

The Outlaws Baseball Club 10U team and their families spent time Sunday at Trolley Line House volunteering with the Garton Family Charity sorting, packaging and delivering food items to every pantry in Wadsworth!

Players and their families also volunteered to make a few more deliveries throughout the next month to make sure the pantries stay stocked.

Outlaws 10U head coach Michelle DeAngelis believes volunteering is important and makes sure each year to do a community service project with her team.

Garton Family Charity was created in 2016 in an effort to help those in need in Northeast Ohio through financial assistance and service projects, and to connect residents of NE Ohio to their surrounding communities and community members.

Since the Garton Family Charity began, they’ve had several fundraising events, with their biggest being an annual Christine Garton Memorial Softball Tournament, which will be in its eighth year this August.

“We have a silent auction as well to raise additional funds. Two years ago we added some fun and unique rules inspired by the Savannah Bananas – running the bases backwards, for example – to add to the fun. Teams or individuals can sign up to play and each team plays for a cause special to them. For example, Ugly Tub Ohio has plays each year to benefit Donate Life Ohio, On the Spot Heating and Cooling LLC (who also sponsors the event) plays for our Holiday Cheer program, and the Dale & Joanne Widmer Foundation play to raise money for their non-profit,” explained Steve Garton, one of the charity’s creators.  “We’ve also had the tremendous support of event sponsors including Texas Roadhouse in Stow (who donates food each year for our participants), The Amanda Ondrey Team, M.C. Real Estate, Chas E. Slusser Agency, and Great Oaks CrossFit.”

In 2020, the charity started a Holiday Cheer Program, designed to help families in need during the holidays by buying gifts for children in the families who applied and are selected.

“It has grown considerably over the last few years, with 2023 being our most successful year as we supported 49 families (121 children) with 1,785 gifts. We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful community partners – the Wadsworth YMCA and Great Oaks CrossFit – both of whom set up “Giving Trees” at their locations and had members donate gifts, and Toys for Tots Medina County, who supported us in purchasing additional gifts to ensure each child had several to open for the holidays. On the Spot Heating and Cooling LLC has also been a huge help, donating wrapping paper to each family and letting us use their box truck and storage facilities for the toys,” Garton said,

In 2021, they started the “Everyday Hero” project, which highlights members of our community who go above and beyond to help others and improve their communities.

Dolce at the Strand and Sweets on High are both incredibly generous in making the program a success, with each donating a reward to the winner for every week of the month they’re selected,” Garton explained.

“People nominate people in the community who are doing great work for others. We give each award winner a pint of gelato each week the month of their award, so four total,” Nicole Mikoda said, owner of Dolce at the Strand. “They (Garton Family Charity) do great work right in Wadsworth and we really appreciate it. Neighbors helping neighbors!”

Recently, the Garton Family Charity started a food pantry project, with the Outlaws Baseball Club 10U team was first to volunteer to assist.

“We are planning to continue it moving forward and get more groups involved,” Garton explained. “Overall since 2016, we’ve raised more than $45,000, supported 17 non-profits/service projects selected by participating teams through our softball event, helped 102 families through Holiday Cheer, and recognized many wonderful “everyday heroes” in our community.”

You can like/follow the Garton Family Charity on their social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, and X/Twitter – to stay updated on their events and ways to help. Visit their website: www.gartoncharity.org, to nominate an “Everyday Hero”, make a donation or to donate an item for their Silent Auction fundraiser.

Categories: News

Tina Heiberg

Tina happily lives in her princess palace with her husband, 3 young sons and dog.