Prior to the start of the season, Yorkville softball coach Kathi Dockstader presented her team with what she termed “a real life challenge.” Raise money for the family of a young girl diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
Ten-year-old Madi Beetham, a fourth grader in town had been diagnosed with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in February and started her fight at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
“My oldest daughter, Kelli, had helped coach Madi in the YYBSA 10-U travel team and sent me a text asking if I had heard about her,” Dockstader said. “Then I found out she’s in the class of one of my (freshman) assistant coaches, Lindsay Decker.”
Dockstader told her team if they could raise $7,000 for the MadiStrong team, the coach would demonstrate her support by allowing her senior players to shave her head May 16th following the team’s Senior Night game at American Legion Field.
How have the Foxes done?
Safe to say, these ladies stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.
They designated this Saturday’s 11 a.m. doubleheader with Sterling as MadiStrong Day for the focal point of their campaign.
Madi, the daughter of Brad and Jeni Beetham, has been invited to be the Foxes’ bat girl. She’s in the midst of chemotherapy treatments but will be there if she’s up to it and her doctors give her the OK.
The good news is the players have already topped their goal.
“We’re over $9,000,” a justifiably proud Dockstader said.
Thing is, the campaign seems to be gaining momentum.
Yorkville’s boys baseball team will also be taking part Saturday during its home doubleheader.
“One day during spring break the girls went out to local businesses seeking raffle prizes for Saturday or cash donations,” Dockstader said. “We also targeted all the schools in Yorkville with fundraising efforts.
“We’re taking donations (Saturday) at the concession stands and we’ll have announcers at both fields and will be raffling off those items each inning.”
Several businesses even had Madi Days, donating a portion of their receipts to the campaign.
It hasn’t stopped there.
Earlier this year members of the Waubonsee Community College women’s basketball team bought MadiStrong T-shirts that are also available and wore them as warmups late in the season.
“I went to high school with Madi’s dad, Brad,” said WCC coach Dana Wagner. “And both her mom and dad played basketball here at Waubonsee. In fact, Jeni (a Leland High School grad) was on the last conference champion team we had here in 1993 until our girls won it this year and dedicated it to Madi.”
The Chiefs’ softball team has also joined the effort and will do some fundraising at its doubleheader Saturday vs. Joliet Junior College.
“We moved the start time back to noon for the opener, hoping Madi will be able to attend our second game after she’s done in Yorkville,” coach Perry Clark said.
His Chiefs will hold a raffle between games.