When it comes to August at Navajo Ministries, we always know the calendar will be packed with action. In early August, the Vertical Radio Sports team is busy broadcasting the Connie Mack World Series at Ricketts Park. By the middle of the month, all of our school-aged children are headed back to elementary, middle school and high school. And, toward the end of August, our largest fund-raising event for the Four Corners Home for Children – the San Juan River Bi-Fly Tournament – takes center stage.
Let’s take a quick rundown of all three of these big August activities:
Connie Mack World Series
The Connie Mack World Series began a new format this year with pool play for teams to qualify for the actual tournament at Ricketts Park, which runs through this Sunday’s championship. Vertical is broadcasting all of the tournament games live on FM 88.9 and through the Internet at verticalradio.org. It takes a great overall team to broadcast this incredible event, which draws teams from all over the United States and Puerto Rico.
I want to thank everyone for helping to make this possible, all the way from the on-air folks to volunteers from the Farmington High School media class. Without everyone pulling together, we couldn’t do this eight-day event. In addition to the broadcasts, a number of people are involved with Social Media posts and interaction. Hey, that’s the era we live in today.
So, if you have a chance, get out to Ricketts Park and see some of the best amateur baseball anywhere. Who knows, you might just see the next Eric Hosmer, Ken Griffey Jr. or Manny Machado. Something new this year is also the large jumbo-tron scoreboard in center field. Ricketts Park is among the best stadiums in the country and is often referred to as a Class AA-type minor league park.
It was also my privilege to be able to give the opening prayer at the start of the tournament Tuesday morning. Lifting up the players, coaches and fans to God before the big event was indeed a highlight for me.
Back to School Prayer Event
This year’s Back to School Prayer Event will happen a little earlier on Sunday, August 13, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Education and Activity Center. We’re still working on a special speaker for the event and will wind up with prayer before school starts the next day on August 14. Staff and children will gather in groups and read prayer cards that have been sent from around the country. It’s a great way to connect our kids with friends from coast to coast in prayer.
The event is a little earlier this year due to the fact that Vertical Radio is bringing in popular hip-hop artist KJ-52 for a 6:30 p.m. Christian concert at the Oasis Church that evening. Some of our staff and kids will be attending this special concert. Tickets at the door are just $10.
San Juan River Bi-Fly Tournament
The 24th annual San Juan River Bi-Fly Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 18-19 on the beautiful Quality Waters of the San Juan. This is the largest annual fund-raising event for the Four Corners Home for Children, bringing in more than $1 million over the life of the tournament.
Anglers gather pledges for the largest fish they catch during the two-day catch-and-release event. Two-person teams compete one day in a boat and the other day in the water. There is always lots of fun competition, and much-needed funds reeled in. One angler last year raised more than $11,000 by himself! The tournament overall raised about $70,000. Another similar result would be great since our finances this summer have been quite low.
Following the fishing action, a banquet is held at the Farmington Civic Center, with the meal donated by the Outback Steakhouse. Funds will also be raised on August 19 at the banquet through silent and live auctions, raffles and other fund-raising efforts. A state-of-the-art motorized fishing kayak is the big raffle item and American Home Furniture has donated two beautiful leather recliners and side tables.
The big sponsors this year are San Juan Regional Medical Center, Citizens Bank and San Juan Rotary Club. We thank all of them for helping to make this event another big success.
Bob Fitz, the long-time coordinator of the Bi-Fly, does a great job each year putting this tournament together. The teams are also lower this year, largely due to economic factors in the region. If you know of anyone who would like to fish for two fun-filled days – and raise funds for our children – please contact Bob at 505-402-6995.
Thanks – and enjoy August!