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Kirfaid.org outfits the softball girls | Sweet Water Fund, Inc. | Nicaragua non-profit organization • foundation

Ben & Kassidy of The Sweet Water Fund along with Ed McCombs of the Ventura Rotary and Mark Kirwin of Kirfaid.org with the softball gear for the ladies

Mark Kirwin, founder of Kirfaid.org (Kirwin international relief foundation) came to visit Playa Gigante on behalf of the Ventura, California Rotary club last month. A recognizance mission of sorts, to see how the Ventura Rotary could contribute to the village, Mark was moved by the force of the women’s softball team in Gigante and offered to make a grand contribution of outfitting the team with much needed gear such as mitts, balls, bats and bases.

We made a special trip to Managua to the one sports store (that we’ve ever found) and Mark was able to donate one brand new mitt to every player on the team, including our one lefty who has, out of necessity, learned how to play with a right hander’s mitt. Mark, along with Sweet Water, understands the important role that sports play in the development of the youth as well as team building skills and boosting confidence and self worth in Adults.

Checking out the new bat!

Since then, we’ve seen a great improvement in the women’s performance, especially with the new mitts.  The old ones were second hand mitts from the men’s team, several years old with worn out leather and missing threading.  The ball would often times just fall right through them.   We also only had two softballs to practice with, one bat and rice bags for bases.  The team was beyond thrilled with the Kirfaid donation and claims they will be number one in the league this year!

The Kirwin International Relief Association was founded by Mark and his family when they were vacationing in Thailand during the 2004 Tsunami. Fortunate to have survived, they jumped into action and began helping the others by buying supplies and preparing relief packages for the survivors who had lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. When they finally made it home to Ventura, they began fundraising and returned to Thailand in 2005 to help re-build. See www.kirfaid.org for more information.

The Gigante Women's softball team with their new mitts, balls, bats and bases

New balls and bases

The girls check out their new mitts

 

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