From Kyle Beane:
For all the anticipation, planning, and work that went into the 2010 ISC, it seemed like the start date of August 13th would never arrive. And once it did, the days seemed longer than everâ€¦.but then, all of the sudden, it was championship Saturday, and the tournament was coming to a close. And now, a month later, players, teams and fans are already looking to the future and what comes next â€“ for their teams, their sponsors and for the future of the sport.
Our committee has heard from many of the different constituents that were part of the tournament, and weâ€™re thrilled that the response has been positive. The City of Midland has a long-standing reputation for running excellent events for Menâ€™s Fastpitch, and we wanted to continue that tradition. Weâ€™re very proud to now be part of the history in Midland that has included ASA and ISF events that fans from all over the world look back at fondly.
Without the following groups of people and organizations, this tournament would not have happenedâ€¦all of the following groups needed to be in sync with each other to make this a success.
Sponsors: The following business and organizations provided various support to the tournament â€“ financial, manpower, services, products â€“ and all were integral in the tournament. Our deep thanks goes out to them.
Valley Plaza Resort
Midland Softball Association
Midland Convention and Visitors Bureau
HH and GA Dow Foundation
EGL Currie Foundation
Gillis Softball Academy
Kenrye Website Design
Great Lakes Loons
Reese Developmental League
The H Hotel
Jackâ€™s Fruit Market
Mark Bone Agency
Quick & Reliable Printing
Berryhill American Legion
Kokaly Lawn Sprinklers
Dictating Machine Service
Volunteers: One of the unknown factors in running a tournament of this size is the amount of support that the host (especially a first time host) will receive from the community. And that support is absolutely essential. Whether itâ€™s taking tickets, selling programs, running water buckets, pouring beer, keeping score, announcing games, running a scoreboard, cleaning up the park, watching the parking lots, chasing foul balls, or just being an extra set of hands to help with duties that come up out of the blueâ€¦..all of those areas were covered and handled with care and professionalism.
Our final count of volunteers was well over 200, and each individual and group that was part of the tournament has the Host Committees sincere gratitude for their participation.
Local Media: From the very beginning of the process, the Midland Daily News became an active supporter of the ISC Tournament, and continued that throughout the completion. Sports Editor Chris Stevens, writer John Kennet, and former Sports Editor Don Winger all proved support, encouragement and great articles/commentary that added to the bigger picture of getting the word out to fans everywhere.
The Saginaw News, led by Sports Editor Paul Neumeyer and writer Geoff Mott also covered the tournament with great care and detail. By tying in the 1981 tournament into the 2010 version, they allowed fans from that era to relive some of the great moments from almost 30 years ago. Additionally, Geoff Mott provided a live, online blog/chat for fans during an Explorers game and during the championship game that attracted fans from all over the world.
Sincere thanks and gratitude to both newspapers for helping to make the media portion of this event professional, timely and accurate
ISC Media: Whether it was Al Doran, Jim Flanagan, or the BallPark Radio Crew, the ISC Staff and itâ€™s peripheral support people were all more than happy to assist in the promotion of the tournament and the sport. The world-wide coverage that is possible with the various websites, forums and media only enhance the overall aspect of the tournament and the sport. Every little bit does truly help and their efforts helped make the tournament complete.
Grounds Crew: Simply put, the Midland Parks and Rec group that spent their time at Emerson Park and Redcoats Complex worked their tails off during the tournament to make the grounds, facilities, and playing fields the best they could be. Whether it was repairing pitchers mounds on a momentâ€™s notice, mowing grass in the middle of the night, or getting trash picked up, they are the unsung heroes of the tournament.
Additionally, the Great Lakes Loons grounds crew were a great resource of ideas and help during the tournament â€“ they did some coaching, some teaching, some repairing and the spirit of cooperation that was shown was appreciated by all involved.
Host Committee: Finally, the group of people who made up the Host Committee is a unique collection of softball people, business leaders, players and fans. Their very common trait is that they are passionate about softball, and it showed in their dedication to the tournament.
Don Hartz â€“ Bringing a much needed â€˜non-softballâ€™ perspective to the group, Don helped in fundraising, meeting organization and vision. Don was a great sounding board for the group and helped to push through details to make sure the bigger picture was considered. He was also a fixture at the park helping to coordinate the volunteers on a daily basis.
Pete Finn â€“ If there was a connection to be made in the Midland Community, Pete had it. Bringing a players, and an organizers perspective to the committee, Pete was in a unique position to offer his expertise because heâ€™s been on both sides of the ISC/tournament atmosphere. Pete put in long and important hours at the park, and was instrumental in the tournamentâ€™s success.
Jack Starling â€“ Throughout the process, Jack brought a sense of balance to the committee, and helped temper many discussions with a different point of view, which helped lead to the best possible solution. Another one of the group that helped lead the volunteers during their workdays, Jack spent a ton of time greeting fans at the ticket gate and making sure that process ran smoothly.
Kristen Wright â€“ During the course of tournament planning, Kristen helped get the word out through the local and greater Michigan communities via any social media that was available. She was also our point person on the Chamber of Commerce and helped the committee find ways to utilize the networking that membership provided.
Marcie Post / Karen Murphy / Jesse Stewart â€“ Our Parks and Rec support from the very beginning of this process was excellent. They were receptive to ideas, to change, to suggestions and worked with us every step of the way to make sure their facilities were ready for teams and fans.
Trey Lee / Neil Faccio â€“ The two representatives on the committee from the co-host team of Mickeyâ€™s Sleds, Trey and Neil recruited the concession vendors for the tournament. From the comments from fans and players, it was a great mix of offerings at fair prices, which is a win-win solution for all involved. They also spent plenty of time rolling out tarps at night with other members of the Mickeyâ€™s team, and helping to staff and supervise the beer tents and ticket gates.
Lee Isenhart â€“ Hall of Fame Breakfast, Tournament Director, Campsites, ISC Commissioner, Explorers Booster Club Past-Presidentâ€¦.the list of things that Lee worked on is pretty amazing. Anyone who saw him at the park knows that he started working first thing in the morning and finished late into the night.
Jim Volk â€“ If there was a detail to consider, a contingency to plan for, or something that we hadnâ€™t thought of, Jim found it. Absolutely tireless, Iâ€™d be shocked if he missed an inning during the tournament. Being the Host Committeeâ€™s main point of contact for the ISC in terms of fields, game play, scheduling, and the overall execution once the games started, Jim was an â€˜A+â€™, without question.
Marc Gillis â€“ The third piece of the Tournament Director staff, Marc worked the Redcoats Complex, the U-19 Tournament, and the Legends tournament to keep things running smoothly, and did so with his usual efficiency. What many people may not realize is that Marc was the right-hand man for his Dad, Art, at the 1981 ISC in Saginaw â€“ a lot of the committee work that our group completed with a 20+ person group was handled by Marc, Art and only a couple others, which makes the 1981 tournament even more impressive.
Clint Beane â€“ If there was an errand to run, something to pick up, an extra set of hands to help set up something, or a piece of work that didnâ€™t have a volunteer, Chet took care of it. I donâ€™t know how many miles he put on during the week, but I donâ€™t think many people put any more on.
Ellen Beane â€“ Taking care of details at the park with the ticket gate, programs, beer tent, and vendorsâ€¦along with record-keeping for the team and the tournament committee (along with being the Explorers #1 fan), Ellen didnâ€™t miss a beat.
Steve Horning â€“ Doing behind the scenes work for the team, as well helping to coordinate hotels with teams and fans, Steve continued what heâ€™s done for the team for years â€“ helping out where ever he can to make sure things run smoothly.
Lanny Dexter â€“ If there was a question about a vendor process, the beer tent, food menus, pricing, or set-upâ€¦Lanny was the man. His â€˜real-worldâ€™ experience in the industry brought much-needed insight into how to run the food/drink portion of the tournament.
Jeff Servinski â€“ â€˜Sodâ€™ wore a lot of hats over the course of the tournament â€“ coordinating the insurance policies we needed, fundraising, writing media releases, pushing tarps, fixing mounds, helping out the grounds crew, leading opening ceremonies and doing color commentary on the MCTV broadcast. For those who know him well, his level of involvement is not a surprise â€“ one of the hardest workers, and most conscientious, of anyone thatâ€™s ever been involved with the Explorers organization.
Laura Currie â€“ Given her own, and her familyâ€™s legacy with Midland softball, just having Laura on the committee as a resource of ideas would have been a win. But she also provided us with volunteers, kept score, helped fundraise, and was an advocate for the field improvements that were done at Emerson and Redcoats.
Sports Junction â€“ Art and Tuck were great idea people for the committee. Even though they were one of our vendors, their experience with big tournaments like the ISC was important as we planned for park setup, souvenir offerings, and as a resource for items we needed throughout the tournament.
Marty McGuire â€“ One of the architects of all the previous big events at Emerson Park, Marty served as an advisor and also helped with the licensing piece of the tournament.
Gregg Sauve â€“ Being an active player, and manager, Gregg was able to provide unique insight into what was needed to run the tournament. Helping to fundraise, recruit volunteers, and assist in the park setup process, Gregg did a great job for the committee.
Sue Forbes â€“ Taking on one of the most important jobs of the tournament, Sue coordinated the volunteer effort â€“ recruiting, scheduling, follow-up, trainingâ€¦couple that with the hours that she spent at the park, and Sue truly was an MVP.
Pete Volk â€“ Pete handled the finances, tracking and reporting during the tournament. His ability to keep us on track and up to date with invoices, balances and necessary information was absolutely key to the process.
Brett Bechtel â€“ A jack of all trades for the entire tournament, Brett is a student at Northwood University who served as an intern during the process. Studying Sports Management, Brett was able to add some additional real-world experience to his academic endeavors.
Katie Ardouin â€“ In addition to serving as the tournament photographer, Katie was instrumental in helping to organize and recruit our volunteer group.
Jeff Ryers â€“ The website designer for our tournament site, Jeff brought a unique perspective to the process a former player, and a sports fan. He wanted to give visitors to the site a feel of professionalism for the tournament (and the sport) and he accomplished that goal. Constant improvements, additions, and quick response led to 20,000 visitors to the site from 50 states and 40 countries.
Leslie Benner â€“ Leslie handled the coordination of the Opening Ceremonies, and kept everything flowing during that piece of the tournament. She was able to get as much content into a short period of time, which allowed all of the participants a chance to take part and be recognized.
Kathy Peariso and the Midland Special Olympics – In a thousand different ways, Kathy and her peers add so much to the lives of their athletes. We’re very grateful for their particicpation in the 2010 ISC World Tournament, your teams are welcome at any of our events whenever you’d like.
Final Thoughts: The Host Committee is in the process of wrapping up all the final detailsâ€¦.getting final invoices, preparing reports, detailing what went right, what we could have done better, and talking about what the future holds for events like this in the Midland Community. It really was a giant undertaking that made us appreciate the efforts that go on behind the scenes to make sporting events possible.
Congratulations go to the Cobourg Force, Scarborough Champion Indians, Wellington Sox and the Jarvis Travelers for their championship runs in Midland. There were unforgettable moments on the field from these teams and all the others, that helped to make the on-field product the true reason that everyone associated with the sport is so passionate towards.
The work was worth the reward â€“ and that reward was becoming part of the ISC history, leaving our mark on softball in Midland, creating memories for teams, players and fans, and maybe even inspiring others to become involved at bigger levels than what their current participation allows them to. Thank you to all who came to Midland to be part of the 2010 ISC World Tournament.
See you at the ballpark in 2011,
Kyle Beane and David Lach
Co-Chair, Midland 2010 ISC Host Committee