Local doctors and attorneys knocked it out of the park during the 12th annual Sawbones vs. Jawbones Charity Softball Tournament, presented by Cleveland Clinic Indian River, to fund programs and services supported by the United Way of Indian River County.
Baseball fans cheered as the teams swung for the fence at Holman Stadium at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.
Before the adult players hit the field, the Vero Beach Little League played in the 2023 United Way Cup, offering up some youthful exuberance.
Later, as the scent of hot dogs and popcorn filled the air, the more senior players took to the field where, instead of relying upon their current tools of the trade of case law and medical terminology, it all came down to bats and balls.
“It’s a pleasure to be out here tonight at such a nice facility and we’re glad to be a part of it, along with Major League Baseball who runs the facility,” said County Commissioner Joe Earman, who served as the lead umpire for the game.
“Even though we own it, they run it and operate it. They do such a great job by maintaining the field and the whole facility in general. We’re looking forward to tonight, and what better charity for this event than the United Way.”
Laying down the law at the start of the game, he stressed that there was to be no ‘smack talk’ amongst the players or officials.
“We’re going to play baseball tonight. There will be no arguments with the umpires and no second opinions from the doctors. Let’s have a good time.”
The game was a hard-fought battle, but in the last inning, the Jawbones came from behind to take the win in a 6-5 victory over the Sawbones.
Last year, nearly 47,000 Indian River County residents received support from 36 United Way funded partner agencies and collaboratives, which enabled those partners to provide some 45 programs in the areas of health, education, and financial stability.
Currently, the nonprofit is making a final push with their “Close the Gap” campaign in an effort to raise the remaining $100,000 of its $2,970,000 goal for the year, so that the United Way can continue its quest to build a stronger community. As a result, events such as the Sawbones vs. Jawbones fundraiser are more critical than ever to help them provide that support.
For more information, visit unitedwayirc.org/close-the-gap.