Nick Raitt founded Wacky Warriors, which participates in marathons, triathlons and its own charity fast-pitch softball tournaments to benefit children’s cancer research. Nick battled cancer for four years, but ultimately left his body behind in 2011 at the age of 22. Throughout his life, and especially throughout treatment, Nick was someone who focused on the positive and believed deeply in charitable giving. His mom, Lori Brower, continues Nick’s charitable mission with The Wacky softball tournament, which is now a statewide favorite for 10 to 15 year old girls. Each team adopts a child undergoing cancer treatment; Wacky Warriors creates a large poster about the team’s personal warrior, and the team plays in honor of the honored child.
Shortly after Nico was diagnosed, Evolution adopted Nico, played in the tournament and won the whole enchilada. Their coach, Roger Nyman, has kept in touch with our family throughout the entire year as Evolution continues to win tournament after tournament in honor of Nico. Over the last year the team has sent Nico winning trophies, an autographed game ball, and Evolution t-shirts (even for mom and dad). Nico keeps the trophies and ball on his bedroom dresser. Nico was delighted to receive these gifts and they have become symbolic to us. Roger has kindly sent pictures and anecdotes as these girls kicked some serious softball butt. In one of his last emails, Roger relayed overhearing one girl encourage the team by reminding them that Nico does not give up and neither should they. They ended up coming from behind and winning that game too. Roger tells me that these girls play with heart and he has never been prouder of a team. We are proud of them, too.
Both the Evolution and Wacky Warriors remind us daily of the amazing people we met in Utah and who continue to sustain us to this day. Thank you so much, we love you guys.
We included a slideshow of the Evolution and of Nico and Jeff wearing the team shirts on warriornico.com (right after this post). Go Evolution!