More Than a Team.
To describe the Lady Legendz as a softball team is like describing California as just a place with beaches. Both are so much more than that. Way more! And the Sacramento area is a better place because of them.
The team has competed locally and has traveled across the country to play in competitive slow pitch tournaments. On multiple occasions the Lady Legendz have placed in the top five out of 80 teams at the USSSA “Worlds” tournament.
As impressive as that might be, there is something to be said about this organization as their website does not even depict the team in uniform or in action on the field. Yes, they play excellent softball, but it is obvious that their true passion is helping people.
A Force to Reckon With
The Lady Legendz initially came together in 2004 as a group of retired collegiate and competitive fast pitch softball players to form a team and continue playing a sport they all love. While playing on the field, the women all realized they were a strong team and
collectively a force to be reckoned with. The Lady Legendz transferred that synergy off the field and has since become a 501(c)(3) charitable, nonprofit foundation dedicated to promoting women and girls in sports and wellness. The stated mission of the Lady Legendz is “…to continue to play the sport that we love while providing resources and support to organizations and communities that uplift and empower women and girls.”
Their website describes the all-woman, all-volunteer foundation this way: “a competitive amateur team made up of diverse women; we are mothers, daughters, sisters, and students who have a love and passion for the game of softball and a commitment to supporting young girls in sports.”
All of the members of the Lady Legendz are honored to be a part of an organization that is so committed and passionate about giving back to their community. The members of the organization are grateful for their opportunities to play competitive softball and recognize the life learning skills that it has given them. The Lady Legendz believe that finances should not prevent anyone from receiving equitable medical care or deter a young girl from being able to play competitive softball.
Hitting it Out-of-the-Park for Breast Cancer
One way the Lady Legendz Foundation gives back to their community is with their annual “Take a Swing at Breast Cancer” softball tournament. The tournament started as a small 10 team one-day event 12 years ago and has grown over time into a two-day 50 team tournament. This year, the tournament will raise thousands of dollars to help in the fight against breast cancer.
For several years, Albie Aware has been a beneficiary of the fundraising tournament. The team selected Albie Aware because they provide one-on-one care to the underserved and in the local community. The two organizations are a perfect fit for one another.
This year, the “Take a Swing at Breast Cancer” tournament will take place on October 12 & 13 at the Sacramento Softball Complex. There will be men’s, women’s, and coed teams competing to win on the field. But the real winners will be people in the Sacramento area facing or fighting breast cancer. Albie Aware’s Executive Director, Amanda Nelson, will say a few words at the opening ceremony on October 12.
“We have donated almost $30,000 to Albie Aware over the years,” says Janelle Ito-Orille, President, Lady Legendz Softball Foundation. At last year’s tournament, she explained that the cause became even more personal. “One of my friends was highlighted at the tournament and I didn’t even realize she was a breast cancer survivor. Albie Aware helped her directly and it humbled me that I was donating to my own friend.”
The tournament also fulfills the group’s vision to create a community in which all girls and women are nurtured and empowered to reach their fullest potential on and off the field. To that end, the Lady Legendz Foundation has donated over $24,000 in financial sponsorships to 39 local girls.
The sponsorships can be used to help offset the financial burdens of playing competitive softball. All of these efforts are only possible through the generosity of financial donations and fundraising events. “Even though we’re small and we’re all working women, mothers, and busy with other commitments, the donations speak to the strength and power of our organization. We are not aware of any other entity that provides direct financial sponsorships for girls to play softball. Every one of our members believes in the mission and that’s what drives us. Collectively we want to move this effort forward – we believe in it -that’s what keeps us together.”