Organizers said they still expect to raise about $25,000 for community groups and families in need

The Big Ball Marathon, scheduled to run 24 hours, was cut short this past weekend because of rain.

It started at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, and was scheduled to end at 6 p.m. the next day at Silver Lake Park, but marathon officials had to end it early.

“We had to call it at 10 a.m. on Saturday, due to rain. Sad, but the ball fields were drenched,” said Kate Rokosz, president of the marathon.

The marathon raises money to give to local charities. Rokosz said she wants people to know that Big Ball is still accepting donations even though the marathon itself is over.

Donations can be made online at www.bigball.org or by mailing a check payable to the M.O.T. Big Ball Marathon, P.O. Box 329, Middletown, DE 19709.

In all, the organization expects to end up with $25,000 this year.

“We will set aside $15,000 for our safety net, community fund. Once marathon expenses are paid, the remaining money will be dispersed as grants to local charities and organizations” on a date to be announced, Rokosz said.

As part of the Big Ball Marathon, several teams played softball with an extra-large ball. Before the games, an opening ceremony was held featuring the Middletown High School Band and the high school’s Air Force Junior ROTC.

There was a team called Blonde Bombers, headed by Millie O'Neal.

“They always drew a crowd and retired in 2014. They made a comeback appearance this year for our final marathon. Every year, they had a theme. This year they were bikers. Always a hoot!” Rokosz said.

This year’s Big Ball Marathon was the final year for the two-day fundraiser, which has been held for 20 years. More than $600, 000 has been raised to assist local charities, organizations and families in need in the MOT communities.

Organizers said the marathon is being discontinued because in the past several years, it’s gotten more and more difficult to fill the schedule with incoming teams.

“The board has decided to reexamine our current model to determine how we want to move forward. In the meanwhile, we will maintain our safety net community fund,” Rokosz said.

The funds are raised through corporate and private donations, incoming teams who pay to play, marathon player donations, concessions, vendors and children's activities.