The Big Ball Marathon is returning for its 15th year with 24 hours of ball playing fun.
“We’re really excited,” said Kate Rokosz, one of the event’s coordinators. “We’ve added a lot of cool stuff.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. Aug. 31, the M.O.T. community will work and play to raise money for those in need. With all of the proceeds staying in the area, the community-centered event has raised about $500,000 since it’s start in 1997.
This year’s goal is $50,000 and so far $10,000 has been raised through corporate sponsors and by online donations, Rokosz said.
Big Ball is played like softball, but the ball is bigger and has been described as spongy.
The games last for 24 hours straight Labor Day weekend at Silver Lake Park in Middletown.
Six things to know about the 15th annual Big Ball Marathon
Big Ball will feature a 2012 Summer Music Slam that begins Friday at 6 p.m. The live music and entertainment will cease at 11 p.m. and then start up again at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Seven live bands, including Chasing TheA, Silver Rain, Ashley Forrest, Stones Throw Band, Fishbowl Project, YNOT!? and It Is What It Is will perform and for the price of one canned-good donation, you can come watch! DJ Jammin’ Jeff and the Premier Center for the Arts will also provide live entertainment, along with live broadcasts by WDSD and TOM-FM.
For anyone who likes to chow down before or after playing Big Ball, a new feature at this year’s Big Ball will be eating contests. DogTown will hold a hot dog eating contest at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Buffalo Wild Wings will host a wing-eating contest at 1:15 p.m. The cost to enter the eating contests is $10 per person and is open to anyone, whether playing in Big Ball or not.
Family Fun & Kid Friendly
There will be plenty to do for families and children at Big Ball. Carnival games will run Friday night until 10 p.m. and will resume 9 a.m. Saturday. There will be face and body art, a candy drop by the Middletown Volunteer Fire Company, a home run derby and pony rides – just to name a few. The town of Middletown’s 10 p.m. curfew will be enforced Friday night for anyone under 18 who is not accompanied by an adult. Anyone under 18 years old who will be attending Big Ball Friday night must obtain a wristband at the Welcome Tent.
Go to the Big Ball website, www.bigball.org, click on “Silent Auction” and you will be taken to the auction site where online bidding will continue until the marathon begins Aug. 31. Final bids for the sports memorabilia, which include a football autographed by Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning and a baseball bat signed by Alex Rodriguez, will be taken at the actual marathon. Sports items aren’t the only things up for grabs though. An acoustic guitar autographed by The Black Eyed Peas is going for a minimum bid of $250. Winners will be announced and items will be awarded at 6 p.m. Sept. 1.
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The goal of the M.O.T. Big Ball Marathon is to raise money to help families, individuals, charities and organizations in the Middletown / Odessa / Townsend area. The money raised stays in the M.O.T. area, and has gone towards many organizations and programs including the Positive Behavior Support Program in the Appoquinimink School District, the M.O.T. Senior Center Expansion, Habitat for Humanity, and the Freedom Center for Independent Living, just to name a few. The proceeds also help those struggling to make ends meat by providing food, assistance with utility payments, medical supplies and school supplies. All of this comes through individual, business and corporate donations. The admission for Big Ball is one canned-good, which helps replenish the local food pantries.
Playing Big Ball
It’s not too late to register. If you want to play Big Ball, you can still sign up as an individual or a team. You can also still register to be a marathon player. Big Ball is a lot like softball, except the ball is bigger and kind of spongy. You don’t have to be a super star athlete to play – anyone can sign up! It’s for a good cause and it is sure to be a good time!