Kendall’s Column: Charity Softball Tournament

Kendall Hayes, Culture Columnist

The first annual Michael Farrell Memorial Wiffle Ball Tournament took place on Aug. 27 at Villanova’s Pike Field. Hosted by Farrell’s fraternity brothers, the tournament was a resounding success, raising about $8,750 towards the Farrell Boy Foundation. Created by Farrell’s parents and brother, The Farrell Boy Foundation’s mission is to raise money for charitable and educational purposes, creating scholarship grants and producing funds for different educational endeavors. 


Last July, Farrell and his brother James were involved in a tragic car accident, altering the lives of the Villanova community forever. To honor Farrell’s memory, some of his closest friends and fraternity brothers, Mark Cowan, John Kraft, Regan Paris, Greg Goetz, Patrick Hagerty and Will Frieder, came together with the intention of creating an event that Farrell would have loved while simultaneously raising money for the Foundation. From that meeting, the Michael Farrell Memorial Wiffle Ball Tournament was born. 


Two weeks ago, that idea became reality when more than 300 people attended the tournament, and thousands of dollars were raised through the tournament sign ups, a GoFundMe and a raffle. The members of Delta Tau Delta, Farrell’s fraternity, created a shirt that was sold prior to the event, and similar to attendance, about 200 shirts were sold. To organize the bracket, once there was a final list of teams attending the tournament, the committee used a random generator for which teams would play each other. 


The Villanovan spoke with some of Farrell’s closest friends who organized the event, who explained what the day meant to them. 


“Michael was a fun loving kid who’s contagious smile always had everyone smiling,” Frieder said. “It was amazing to be able to put together an event doing something Michael loved.”


“I am so glad the first annual Michael Farrell Wiffle Ball Tournament was a success,” Goetz shared. “It was a great day with a lot of my closest friends, filled with friendly competition and a lot of laughs, just as Michael would have wanted it. Seeing the support that we had from some of my peers was very moving. I truly hope this event will not only continue at Villanova but even grow its size and influence in the coming years.” 


Cowan explained how the tournament perfectly represented Farrell. 


“For me, this tournament was a tribute to who Michael was,” Cowan said. “He was a fun, energetic, competitive and most importantly, a lovable person. He was able to connect and become friends with so many different types of people, and I think the amount of students that were there shows it.”


It was supposed to rain the day of the tournaments, with scattered thunderstorms as the exact weather report. Instead, the sun was shining, everyone was smiling, and it was a perfect day for wiffle ball. It is moments like these that makes one think Michael was there that day, watching the people he loved most doing something he loved for the greater good. 


I think that Michael is looking down on the people he loved every day, whether it is in the Exchange, at Kelly’s or on the Wiffle Ball field, he’s a part of it. All of it. And this tournament proved that.