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Bohanon Foundation plays ball for toys

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Dec 17, 2021

The Tommy Bohanon Foundation does a lot for the community, from offering grants and scholarships to holding football camps and seminars for high school kids to get them ready for the real world.

Since Nov. 1, it has also done something else. It has collected toys for children in need so they do not have to go empty handed this Christmas.

On Saturday, at the Northwest Softball Complex, people got together for the second-annual Tommy Bohanon Foundation softball tournament to raise more funds and collect more toys for the foundation, which will be handing them out next weekend at a North Fort Myers Church.

The teams were made up of companies that has supported the foundation or schools that have benefited from the foundation’s generosity.

“This is a fun event for the whole family. There’s a bounce house, food trucks and softball. It’s all about giving toys to the kids who can’t afford toys or otherwise would go without,” Tommy Bohanon said, who played for his team, the “Smokin’ Bunts.”

“Our main goal is to ensure that any child in need this holiday season gets a Christmas gift under their tree. We understand the holidays can be difficult, parents especially after last year’s pandemic,” Katie Bohanon said. “We want to make sure no parent can’t provide Christmas for their children.”

After the tournament and the funds are raised, the foundation will go shopping for the kids, with the help of kids, because who know more about what kids want than kids?

The foundation has raised $11,000 on top of the toys they have received, a bit lower than the $15,000 raised last year.

The toys, including a ton of bikes, will be given out on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Living Word Ministries Community Center behind the Shell Factory, with “Mama Lou and the Crew.”

There were eight co-ed teams made up of local businesses such as Titan Construction, as well as Dunbar and Riverdale high schools, who were recipients of equipment grants.

Jason Green, captain of the Titan Titans, said its all about the kids and the foundation.

“It’s giving back to the community. This is why we do it and get our families involved so we can show them how we carry on the tradition,” Green said. “They make it so it’s family oriented. It’s a good turnout.”

James Delgado, head football coach at Riverdale, said he was pleased to help a great organization for a great cause.

“They do so much good in our community and it’s geared toward children on Christmas. It’s a chance to give back and have a little fun,” Delgado said, whose school got a $10,000 equipment grant. “They go above and beyond for so many people. Coming back and supporting their events is a no-brainer.”