Pack the Park!
On Monday, May 19, the Kaneland Knights and Batavia Bulldogs Baseball Programs will host an annual meeting of teams for a special evening at the 5/3 Bank Ballpark in Geneva, home of the Kane County Cougars. The Sophomore game will begin at 4:30 PM, followed by Sr. Night activities for both Kaneland and Batavia, a ceremony honoring our special guests for whom we are playing for will follow the introduction of seniors, and the evening will culminate with the varsity game at 7:00 PM.
All proceeds collected at the game will be donated to our three honorary community families to help them in their battles with cancer. This year, we will be honoring Coach Brian Willis
, Head Coach of the Kaneland Softball Program, Phil Kassinger
, who is the father of Kevin Kassinger, one of Kaneland’s Senior baseball players, and Drew Hahn
, a 12 year old Harter Middle School student and whose father is the Head Baseball Coach at Geneva, all who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer this school year and are courageously fighting this difficult battle.
Each year, the seniors take part in deciding who will receive our donation from the game. This year we’ve found multiple needs in our community and it is unfortunate that we can’t reach all the families that have been touched by this dreaded disease. Please come out and support the seniors and help us make this one of the biggest and best nights ever for this annual event. This will be a very special night for the seniors, their parents, both baseball programs, and the people that we will be honoring. We will be celebrating our “Senior Night”, along with Batavia as our seniors play in their last “home” game.
Furthermore, we have invited the travel teams and their families from the Kaneland and Batavia School Districts to attend the game with the sole purpose of giving the players a feeling of what High School Baseball is all about. They will be recognized between games. Very few young players get a chance to see their varsity high school baseball teams in action; this will provide us with an excellent opportunity to “showcase” our programs to our future players and families.
We will also have concessions at the game including beverages, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and multiple other snacks. There will be shirts for purchase and multiple silent auction items which will all be going towards helping the families. Admission will be $5.00 for adults and students and all children under 6 are free. The game will be broadcast live on BATV, High School Cube and the radio.
We are accepting corporate sponsorship, as well as any size donations. If you are interested in making a donation or sponsoring part of the event, please contact Coach Aversa at Brian.Aversa@kaneland.org
. Be sure to mark Monday, May 19, on your calendar and help us make an enormous difference at the 5/3 Bank Ballpark in Geneva that evening!
Please take a moment and read about the 3 families to whom we will be donating our proceeds to from our Senior Night. Here is a little background about each of them and their stories.
Drew Hahn is a 12 year old seventh grader at Kaneland Harter Middle School where he plays football and basketball. His health issues began with what was believed to be a sports injury. After several trips to the ER and an appendectomy, a biopsy of his lymph nodes and several other tests, Drew was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large-Cell non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March, 2014. This is a rare form of cancer, especially in children. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Rush University Hospital in Chicago. While going through his therapy, he must remain at the hospital for a minimum of five days at a time. Drew’s hope is to return to the athletic field for the Knights as soon as possible. His optimism and can-do spirit through this has been inspiring. The entire Hahn family is humbled by the outpouring of support.
Coach Brian Willis is the Kaneland High School Head Varsity Softball Coach and he also serves as a Physical Education/Driver Education teacher at Kaneland High School. Early in October during a routine colonoscopy, colon cancer was discovered. During surgery a large mass was detected and the lymph nodes were checked for cancer. Brian has completed 11 of 12 chemotherapy treatments as of today. He looks forward to hopefully his last treatment on May 19th with a clean bill of health to follow this summer after more testing. Words cannot describe the appreciation Brian has for his Kaneland co-workers and community as it relates to the support he has received. Coach Willis would like to send out a special thank you to his softball players and their parents and the coaching staff for everything they have done for him and his family.
Phil Kassinger is the father of one of the Kaneland Knights baseball players, Kevin Kassinger, who is a senior. Phil began experiencing problems related to his heart earlier in the year and during some testing, it was discovered that he had cancer. Phil’s diagnosis is Stage 4 lung cancer in both lungs. Phil has started his chemotherapy treatments a few weeks ago and is still trying to work as much as possible. Phil is a caring husband, father of 5 and a proud new grandfather as well. He is also a 20 year employee of Cress Creek Country Club in Naperville. Phil is an avid fan of baseball and has always been a strong supporter of Kaneland Baseball and has not missed any of his son Kevin’s games until this year. He and his wife Becky just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. The Kassingers are all very appreciative of all of the prayers and support they’ve been receiving.
All of the proceeds and donations
that are collected for the evening through the gate, concessions, auction items and items for purchase, and concessions, auction items and items for purchase, and donations, will all be donated to the three families that we are honoring.