Boca Raton Fire Rescue softball tournament helps burn victims

BOCA RATON, Fla. - For the 33rd year in a row, firefighters played ball Sunday morning to raise funds for the Children's Burn Foundation of Florida.

This year 24 teams from around the state participated in the "Boca Burn" softball tournament.

"We've never been over here," Glenn Snyder, battallion chief of the Sarasota County Fire Department said. "We've had a team for a couple of years and we just wanted to come over and play."

Snyder considers the tournament, which is held at the Spanish River Athletic fields, one of the best tournaments he has played in.

Snyder and other players said it's not only fun because they get to dust off the cleats and swing the bat. The main reason is they're helping raise money for the Children's Burn Foundation of Florida.

Carrol Ann Stankovitz , a member of the burn foundation, said it's one of the foundation's biggest fundraisers.

"(The money raised) really helps (burn victims) build some good relationships," Brett Lea of Boca Raton Fire Rescue said. "It builds their self-esteem and helps them look beyond the way they look sometimes."

Dozens of sponsors help raise more than $5,000 each year. This year, Lea hopes the tournament will raise even more money.

Every dollar helps send the burn victims to a four-day camp where firefighters volunteer.

"When they come to camp it's like, 'Hey I can do this. I can be a different person, but still have my scars,'" Sankovitz said. "'I'm proud of my scars because I was able to recover from them.'"

A recovery the foundation says changes a burn victim's life.

And that is why firefighters continue to come to this tournament year after year.

"It's so special," Snyder added. "We're going to come back every year."


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